Home International Kenyan police begin to arrive in Haiti as security mission kicks off

Kenyan police begin to arrive in Haiti as security mission kicks off

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The first planeload of Kenyan police arrived in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday as part of a new security mission, disembarking a Kenya Airways plane with weapons in hand.

Kenyan police officers attend a pre-departure briefing for the first contingent of police officers to deploy to Haiti, at Embakasi, Nairobi, Kenya, in this handout photo released June 24, 2024. Picture: “William Samoei Ruto” via X, Handout via Reuters

PORT-AU-PRINCE – The first planeload of Kenyan police arrived in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday as part of a new security mission, disembarking a Kenya Airways plane with weapons in hand, according to a Reuters witness.

The officers are expected to lead a mission to tackle raging gangland violence convulsing the Caribbean nation, which has suffered a prolonged period of instability amid a severe humanitarian crisis.

Kenyan police streamed out of the plane at the capital’s airport as a small crowd, mostly airport personnel, greeted them on the tarmac.

Kenya volunteered in last July to lead an international force to stem the latest wave of violence to afflict Haiti, where gangs control most of the capital Port-au-Prince while carrying out widespread killings, kidnappings and sexual violence.

But the deployment has been repeatedly delayed by court challenges and a deterioration of the security situation in the Caribbean country, which in March forced its former prime minister Ariel Henry to resign.

In addition to Kenya, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Barbados, Chad and Bangladesh have pledged personnel to the 2,500-strong mission, which is being funded primarily by the United States.

Haiti’s Prime Minister Garry Conille – sworn in earlier this month after Henry was forced to resign while travelling abroad – welcomed Kenya’s support.

“The government and the Haitian people hope this multinational mission will be the last one to help the county stabilize so it can renew its political personnel and return to an effective democracy,” Conille said on X.

– REUTERS

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