Kenyan Intervention in Haiti Delayed Due To Logistics.

Photo: US Department of State. President Ruto of Kenya meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
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The Kenyan forces who the world hopes can restore order in Haiti were widely expected to arrive this week, concurrently with the visit of President Ruto to Washington, but now there seems to be a delay.

Nearly 200 Kenyan police officers had been expected to land around 23 May – timed to coincide with Kenyan President William Ruto’s state visit to the White House.

The United States has pledged $300 million to support the mission and has been pushing for it to begin soon, flying dozens of military planes into the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and preparing a base.

However, the Miami Herald reported that the initial deployment of what is expected to become a force of more than 1,000 police and security personnel (from Kenya, several Caribbean countries, and others such as Bangladesh, Benin, and Chad) may now be postponed until early June due to logistical issues, including a lack of armoured vehicles and of helicopters for medical evacuations.

An advance Kenyan delegation also found that the barracks weren’t ready and that the communications equipment was insufficient.

Approved by the UN Security Council in October, the mission has faced strong opposition in both Haiti and Kenya, where a court order blocked the deployment until Ruto bypassed the ruling through a bilateral agreement with a new interim Haitian government.

Throwing a spanner in the works at the 11th hour, the Kenyan opposition leader and lawyer who filed the first petition to stop the deployment is now legally challenging Ruto’s decision again, with the High Court expected to hear this new case on 2 June.

According to the UN, 2,500 people have been killed due to gang violence since the beginning of the year, 362,000 have been displaced, and half the population faces acute food insecurity. UNICEF’s representative, meanwhile, has warned that the country’s health system is on the verge of collapse.

President Biden has said that the United States does not want to get directly involved with restoring order in Haiti, because historically such interventions have not been altogether successful and have given the impression that the US wants to rule Haiti, which is not the case.

In recent months American generals have said that the deployment of US troops in Haiti is possible, but only in conjunction with a multilateral force.

Sources: The New Humanitarian, BBC, Miami Times.
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