Kenyan lawyers seek to block police deployment to Haiti

Kenyan lawyers have taken legal action to prevent the country’s planned deployment of police to Haiti, according to a court filing.

Kenya had responded to Haiti’s appeal for assistance by offering to send 1,000 officers to help manage the security crisis that has plunged millions into a humanitarian disaster due to rampant gang control.

However, Kenya’s High Court ruled in January that police could not be deployed without a “reciprocal arrangement” with Haiti’s government.

In March, Kenyan President William Ruto signed a security deal with Haiti’s then-prime minister, Ariel Henry, in an attempt to meet the court’s requirements and proceed with the deployment.

Despite this, opposition party lawyers Ekuru Aukot and Miruru Waweru of the Thirdway Alliance argued that Ruto and other officials had disobeyed the court order by signing the reciprocal agreement. They claim the government would be in contempt of court if the deployment proceeds.

Ruto’s spokesperson has not yet commented on the application. The government initially paused the deployment following Henry’s resignation but resumed discussions after a transitional council was sworn in on April 25.

Recently, the U.S. military’s Southern Command announced that civilian contractors had arrived in Haiti to build accommodations for the Kenyan-led force.

Other countries, including Jamaica, the Bahamas, Barbados, Benin, Chad, and Bangladesh, have also pledged personnel to the mission. However, foreign governments and many Haitians remain wary of international interventions due to past U.N. missions’ negative impacts, including a cholera epidemic and sex abuse scandals.

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