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DOD, Southern Command Prepare for Kenya’s Security Mission to Haiti

It is expected that by the time Kenyan President William Ruto arrives in Washington May 23 for his state visit with Joe Biden, the first contingent of Kenyan police officers will have arrived in Haiti as part of the Multinational Security Support Mission (MSSM) to assist the Haitian police in combating violent gangs. Two Defense Department flights have arrived in Port-au-Prince in the past two weeks, carrying armored vehicles and large numbers of food rations for the Haitian National Police (PNH). The U.S. and other countries have often promised to support the outmanned and outgunned PNH in the past few years, but few have done so. Only recently did the Biden administration offer a $10 million package of ammunition and weapons for the beleaguered police force.

At the same time, the U.S. Southern Command is coordinating several U.S. Air Force flights into Haiti transporting construction equipment and civilian contractors to build the barracks and a military base where the Kenyans and other foreign MSSM contingents will be housed. About 400 Kenyans will be the first to arrive, along with a 100-person support staff, including medics. The MSSM is expected to include a total of 2,500 people, 1,000 of whom will be Kenyan police.

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