Kenya Urges United Nations To Expedite Approval Of Security Mission To Haiti.

Photo: Armed gangs control most of Haiti.
- Advertisement -

Kenyan President William Ruto yesterday urged the United Nations to move quickly to authorize an international security mission to Haiti, which it has agreed to lead, as the impoverished Caribbean nation suffers from devastating gang violence.

“Haiti is the ultimate test of international solidarity and collective action,” Ruto told the UN General Assembly. “The international community has failed this test so far, and thus let down a people very, very badly.”

Haitian authorities and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have for months been calling for a security mission to the island nation, but many countries have been hesitant to step in, partly out of fear of finding themselves in a bloody quagmire.

Kenya volunteered in July to lead a multinational police intervention to train and assist the Haitian police, but the mission would need a green light from the UN Security Council.

Ruto urged the UN to quickly work out a framework to allow for the mission to begin.

“Kenya is ready to play its part in full, and jointly, with a coalition of other nations of goodwill, as a great friend and true sibling of Haiti,” Ruto said.

He added: “Haiti deserves better from the world.”

Gangs control roughly 80 percent of the Haitian capital, and violent crimes including kidnappings for ransom, carjackings, rape and armed theft are common.

More than 2,400 people have been killed in Haiti since the start of 2023, the UN said last month.

Elections have not been held in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, since 2016, and it has been hit by a never-ending series of economic, health and other crises.

Ruto said the mission should be part of a broader strategy that would include humanitarian aid and reforms “with the aim of enabling free and fair elections within a reasonable time frame.”

A UN peacekeeping mission was in operation in Haiti from 2004 to 2017 but fell out of favor after a cholera outbreak traced to infected UN personnel claimed thousands of lives.

Meanwhile the security situation continues to deteriorate in Haiti where there is effectively no government.

The most severe humanitarian crisis in the Americas has taken yet another dramatic turn after Haiti’s most powerful gang boss took to the streets to call for an armed uprising to overthrow the country’s unpopular prime minister.

Jimmy Chérizier, a police officer turned gang lord nicknamed “Barbecue”, issued his call to arms on Tuesday, as reports suggested the US was preparing to ask the UN security council to approve a Kenya-led intervention designed to address the Caribbean country’s escalating security crisis.

“We are launching the fight to overturn Ariel Henry’s government in any way,” Chérizier said of Haiti’s prime minister, who took power after president Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in 2021.

“Our fight will be with weapons,” the gang leader told Reuters.Haiti has been spiraling deeper into turmoil since Moïse was murdered at his Port-au-Prince residence.Since then, rifle-toting gangs have commandeered up to 90% of Haiti’s capital and there has beenan explosion of killings, kidnappings and sexual violence, turning much of the city into a no-go zone.

Millions are struggling to eat, partly as a result of gang checkpoints blocking food supply routes.

Source: AFP, The Guardian.
- Advertisement -