Kenya’s Cabinet granted approval on Friday for the deployment of 1,000 police officers to lead a multinational peacekeeping mission aimed at tackling gang violence in Haiti. However, the country’s parliament must provide the final sign-off for this mission to proceed.
From January 1 to August 15, Haiti witnessed a concerning surge in violence, with more than 2,400 reported deaths, over 950 kidnappings, and 902 injuries, according to recent U.N. statistics.
While the United Nations Security Council had sanctioned the deployment earlier this month, Kenya’s high court imposed a two-week delay following a challenge filed by a local politician. The hearing for this challenge is scheduled for October 24.
Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki, appearing before a national assembly committee, emphasized the need for parliamentary approval before deploying the troops. Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome confirmed that training had already commenced for the first group of officers earmarked for the mission.
The Kenyan-led peacekeeping initiative garnered U.N. support through a Security Council resolution on October 2, with the mission’s funding relying on voluntary contributions. The United States pledged up to $200 million for this effort.
Kenya’s involvement in this mission has sparked controversy domestically, with opposition leader Raila Odinga expressing concerns about the nation’s own security challenges. The deployment date for Kenya’s 1,000 officers remains unconfirmed, but President William Ruto has assured that the Kenya-led force is committed to supporting the people of Haiti.