Why Haiti Nationals Are Desperately Waiting for Kenya Police Deployment [EXCLUSIVE]

President William Ruto with Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome during a pass-out parade at Administration Police Training College, Embakasi.

In the face of rampant gang violence and a nation teetering on the brink of collapse, Kenya's forthcoming peacekeeping mission to Haiti has garnered unexpected support from the local populace, defying earlier warnings from gang leaders.

In an exclusive interview with Kenyans, Dr. Ted Higgins, a prominent figure leading a coalition of 200 hospitals in Haiti, expressed confidence in the Kenyan mission, highlighting the eagerness of Haitians to see an end to the chaos that has plagued their country.

The mission, spearheaded by Kenya, will deploy a team of 1,000 police officers alongside 2,500 soldiers drawn from several other nations, including Jamaica, Chile, Grenada, Paraguay, Burundi, Chad, Nigeria, and Mauritius.

With reports indicating a staggering death toll attributed to gang violence, which claimed 4,451 lives last year and 1,554 lives by March this year, the situation in Haiti has reached dire proportions.

Despite ominous warnings from gang leaders, Higgins remains optimistic about the reception the peacekeeping forces will receive upon their arrival.

"The local communities have been anxiously awaiting the Peacekeeping Mission led by Kenya to arrive," Higgins stated, stressing the urgent need for intervention to restore stability and security.

He added, “People will help the Kenyan troops. So many people want all this chaos to be finished. Kenya will not run into a situation like the one the US ran into in Vietnam, where citizens were protecting the Vietcong. The situation in Haiti is very different. There will be a lot of support, more than people anticipate, from what people are sharing with us.”

Dr Edward 'Ted' Higgins, founder of the Higgins Brothers Surgicenter for Hope in Fonds Parisien, Haiti.
Higgins Brothers Surgicenter

The challenges facing Haiti are multifaceted, with gangs controlling key areas including the economic hub of Port-au-Prince, effectively paralyzing essential services and infrastructure.

Higgins, who runs Surgicenter for Hope in a village in the eastern part of Haiti,  recounted harrowing accounts of healthcare providers falling victim to gang violence, illustrating the urgent need for intervention to ensure the safety of both civilians and aid workers.

He exclaimed, "Humanitarian aid, food, and medical supplies have been cut off or kidnapped by gangs. Patients and healthcare providers alike have been kidnapped, injured, robbed, and even shot by gang members. Our chief surgeon was shot and he has even cared for gang members."

“We have done surveys on the ground in Haiti indicating a large majority of Haitians need and want intervention. The people of Haiti thirst for stability and security. Far too much destruction, deaths, and abuse has occurred,” asserted Higgins.

Earlier provocations from gang leaders, such as Jimmy Chérizier, known as Barbecue, have only served to highlight the gravity of the situation. 

Chérizier's threats to resist the presence of peacekeeping forces were met with defiance by Higgins, who highlighted the determination of the Haitian people to see an end to the reign of terror perpetrated by gangs.

Dr. Ted Higgins with his team at the Higgins Brothers Surgicenter for Hope in Fonds Parisien, Haiti.
Higgins Brothers Surgicenter

The escalating violence has resulted in a surge in casualties, while over 90,000 people in the capital have been displaced from their homes, adding to the humanitarian emergency unfolding in the country.

Despite the formidable challenges ahead, Higgins remains resolute in his belief that the intervention led by Kenya holds the key to stabilising Haiti and addressing the root causes of the crisis. 

"The resilience and determination of the Haitian people have suffered over these years of gang dominance and fear," Higgins remarked, echoing the sentiments of many who yearn for a return to normalcy.

Kenya's troops are expected to deploy to Haiti by the end of this month. The New York Times reports the date of the landing of the troops to be May 23. 

That date coincides with President William Ruto's trip to Washington DC, where the issue of Haiti is expected to be on the agenda between the US President Joe Biden and President Ruto.

The initial batch of deployment is planned to include 500 police officers, 400 security professionals, and 100 members of staff such as medics, with the next group following at a later date.

Higgins stated, "I have yet to encounter anyone living in Haiti who does not support the need for your country to lead the MSS."

Haiti Gang Leader Jimmy Cherizier alias Barbecue ( in black cap) alongside other gang members
Haiti Gang Leader Jimmy Cherizier alias Barbecue ( in black cap) alongside other gang members
Dominican Today
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