We're still expecting Kenya police, Haiti says after Nairobi court blocks deployment

In this file photo, police recruits march during a passing-out parade at Kiganjo Training College in Nyeri County. Port-au-Prince says it is still hoping to receive Kenya police. 

Photo credit: File


Haiti's government says it remains hopeful for a "swift and positive outcome," after a Kenyan court ruled against Nairobi's plan to deploy police officers to support the troubled island nation's security forces.

The ruling on Friday has thrown into doubt the future of a UN-backed multinational force long sought by Haiti's government, which has pleaded for international help to confront its spiraling security crisis.

Haiti protests

Residents protest the killing of six police officers by armed gangs in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 26. The officers died in the town of Liancourt on January 25 after a fierce battle with gunmen who had tried to take over a police station.

Photo credit: Richard Pierrin| AFP

Kenya's government had previously said it was ready to provide up to 1,000 personnel, an offer welcomed by the United States and other nations that had ruled out putting their own forces on the ground.

The government of Haiti said in a statement Sunday that it was "following developments in Kenya and expects a swift and positive outcome."

It added that it would "like to thank the many countries that have come forward to offer various types of aid to restore order and security as soon as possible."

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

 Police officers patrol a neighborhood amid gang-related violence in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on April 25, 2023.

Photo credit: AFP

The Kenyan government has vowed to challenge the high court ruling.

Kenyan President William Ruto has described his country's undertaking as a "mission for humanity," in step with its long record of contributing to peacekeeping missions abroad.

The Western hemisphere's poorest nation, Haiti has been in turmoil for years, with armed gangs taking over parts of the country and unleashing brutal violence, leaving the economy and public health system in tatters.

The 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise plunged the country further into chaos.

No elections have taken place since 2016 and the presidency remains vacant.

The criminal justice system of Haiti is struggling to control the influence of armed gangs

The multinational mission -- initially approved for one year -- had envisioned Kenyan police on the offensive with their Haitian counterparts, who are outnumbered and outgunned by gang members.

The UN Security Council approved the mission in early October.