Where Are The Troops? Haitian Business Leaders Send Overdue Letter To Kenya’s Ruto.

Photo: US Navy. Haitians wait patiently for the transitional council to show signs of life.
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Haiti’s  business leader associations have sent a letter to Kenyan President William Ruto saying that they were “extremely concerned” over delays in activating the  United Nations-backed security mission his government has promised to lead to fight the armed gangs that are overrunning the beleaguered and anarchic Caribbean republic.

In a letter dated Monday but not mailed until Wednesday, the leaders of eight top business chambers said they were concerned as the operation has failed to get off the ground more than six months after its it was approved and accepted by the UN back in October and as the end of its mandate is not far away.

The U.N. Security Council had on October 2 approved a voluntary corps of international troops to deploy to Haiti to help its under-resourced police battle gangs that have cemented their control over nearly all of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The authorization is valid for 12 months with a review after nine, but the mission has yet to deploy, and some countries that did pledge funds or troops have struggled to get these approved by their parliaments or have been slow to hand over the resources.

Kenya is the only country that has offered to lead the mission, but as of early March, it had still  not yet presented a letter to the United Nations formalizing its contribution.

On March 11, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who had first requested the deployment back in 2022, announced his resignation, prompting Kenya to put its plans on pause. Days earlier, Henry and Ruto had signed a deal intended to fast-track the force.

Haiti;s transition council to take over from Henry has still not completed any executive actions as far as anyone outside of the country can discern.

Meanwhile, gangs have further escalated their assaults on parts of the capital they do not yet control.

Key ports such as Port au Prince have been closed for over a month, blocking supplies of food and essential goods while millions go hungry, and hundreds of thousands have had to leave their homes and shelter where they can

The letter said Haiti’s business leaders “look forward to welcoming the Kenyan forces in a relatively short order.” Whether the transitional council is going to do anything remains to be seen.

Sources: VOA with input from Reuters.
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