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U.S. and Greater NATO Hope Kenyan Police Will Make It to Haiti

The Multinational Security Support mission’s deployment of 1,000 Kenyan police in the violence-torn nation of Haiti got the green light to proceed, after signing a “reciprocal agreement” between President William Ruto and then-Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry on March 1 in Nairobi. This agreement apparently satisfied the Kenya High Court, which had ruled against the deployment in October 2023. Although it is highly unlikely that any Haitian police will ever visit Kenya, the court had agreed to this option in January 2023.

However, the mission deployment was delayed after Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry stepped down on March 11 and the Kenyan government stipulated it would not send its police until a new government was in place and an interim prime minister named. After Henry’s departure, it took over a month to create a Transitional Presidential Council which is still rife with infighting, but just sent a letter to President Ruto asking him to send the international security force as soon as possible. The Council has a rotating presidency and has named an interim prime minister.

According to the May 3 Miami Herald, flights of American “civilian contractors” have begun to arrive in Port-au-Prince, along with some construction engineers and equipment, to build barracks for the Kenyans and representatives of the six other countries, besides Kenya, that are also sending police or military personnel—Benin, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bahamas, Chad and Jamaica. The barracks will apparently be located at Toussaint Louverture International Airport which has otherwise been closed to all commercial flights. According to Politico’s NatSec Daily on April 29, the U.S. Defense Department promised to build a base to house the foreign force and a medical facility, but that hasn’t happened yet.

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