Kenyan elite police set to depart for Haiti after presidential send-off

Kenya’s President William Ruto ceremonially bid farewell to about 400 police officers on Monday, who are set to lead a UN-backed mission to address gang violence in Haiti, a government official and police source reported.

Kenya pledged to send 1,000 police officers to help stabilize Haiti, alongside forces from other countries, but the deployment has faced ongoing legal challenges.

Despite this, Ruto has shown strong support for the mission, with officials announcing a contingent would depart on Tuesday.

“This was an official flag-off ceremony by the President. 400 officers are now ready to depart for Haiti tomorrow,” an interior minister official informed AFP.

A senior police officer added that Ruto handed over a Kenyan national flag to the group.

The initial batch includes elite officers from the Rapid Deployment Unit, General Service Unit, Administration Police, and Kenya Police.

They have undergone rigorous training for this mission on top of their prior experience handling complex situations, the officer stated.

The UN Security Council approved the deployment in October, but it was delayed by a Kenyan court ruling in January, which stated that Ruto’s administration needed a bilateral agreement.

After securing the agreement with Haiti in March, a new lawsuit from a small opposition party attempted to block it again.

Other nations, including Benin, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, and Chad, have also expressed willingness to join the mission.

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