A Kenyan high court has blocked the government’s plans to send 1000 police officers to pending the hearing of a petition. The petitioners claim that it is illegal and unconstitutional to send Kenyan police overseas.
The judge cited issues raised in the application as being of national importance and public interest.
One of the petitioners, former presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot said the proposed deployment was unconstitutional.
It is argued that there is a question mark over whether regular police can actually be deployed on international assignments.
Mr Aukot added the country could not afford to spare 1,000 officers before addressing insecurity at home.
Last week ethnic clashes in western Kenya left seven people dead.
And recently the coastal region of Lamu has seen attacks from the Somalia-based al-Shabab militant group. The area is now under curfew.
Speaking on Sunday, the interior minister stressed that the deployment would not compromise the safety and security of the country.
According to a court document seen by Reuters, the order bars Kenyan government officials including the president and his interior minister “from deploying police officers to Haiti or any other country until 24th October 2023”.
In July, Kenya pledged to offer 1,000 police officers after Haiti appealed for international help with security personnel to assist in its battle against gangs blamed for spiraling
The United Nations estimates some 200,000 Haitians have been displaced during escalating violence, with armed gangs carrying out indiscriminate killings, kidnappings, gang rapes and torching people’s homes.
According to the petitioners, the deployment of the police officers is “not only nonsensical and irrational but unconstitutional”.
Kenya has a history of sending peacekeepers to volatile countries and offered to send 1,000 personnel to Haiti in July. Nairobi says it wants to take part in the “rebuilding” of the country, which has been run by unelected officials for years.
Sources: BBC, news agencies.