UN Security Council Votes on Kenya Sending Police to Haiti

UN Security Council Decides On Kenya’s Mission to Send 1000 Police To Haiti
Photo Collage of UN Security Council (left), President William Ruto (In Circle) and a gang in Haiti (Right)
Haiti Times/United Nations

UPDATE Tuesday: President William Ruto embraced the UN's approval to send police to Haiti arguing it would help defeat violent gangs.

Ruto further thanked African countries including Gabon, Ghana, and Mozambique, and other members of the council who voted to approve the mission.

''I am delighted that today, the Security Council has directly answered this call with UNSC Resolution 2699 (2023), which mandates the Multinational Security Support Mission to reinforce the Haiti National Police with operational support and other joint interventions,'' Ruto stated.

''I commend the Security Council for making this moment possible, and extend special appreciation to the United States and Ecuador for the consultative, inclusive, and focused endeavor, which has proved critical to the outcome,'' he added.

The United Nations Security Council has approved the deployment of a multinational force led by Kenyan police to restore peace and tranquillity in the gang-controlled Caribbean nation, Haiti. 

In the exercise conducted on Monday, 13 countries voted in favour of the mission, with no votes recorded against the resolution.

The council comprises 15 countries, with the United States, United Kingdom, China, France, and Russia having Veto powers.

However, Russia and China abstained from the vote due to reservations about the blanket use of force to solve the Haiti crisis under Chapter 7 of the founding U.N. Charter.

An image of United Nation's Headquarters in New York, US
An image of United Nation's Headquarters in New York, US

"More than just a simple vote, this is, in fact, an expression of solidarity with a population in distress. It's a glimmer of hope for the people that have for too long been suffering," Haiti's Foreign Minister Jean Victor Geneus told the council in appreciation of the decision reached. 

Approval for the mission means that Kenya will, by January 2024, lead the multinational force with 1,000 police officers.

UN Security Council will also announce a framework for the mission, with a review expected to be conducted every nine months. This was after local Haitian and international stakeholders demanded accountability and clarity on how Kenya would overcome language, cultural, and geographical barriers while leading the controversial mission. 

Haiti first requested an intervention in October 2022, but the U.N. and US turned a blind eye to sending troops while Canada refused to intervene. Canada argued that its armed forces were already stretched thin by support for Ukraine and NATO in the Russian invasion of Ukraine and lacked the capacity to lead the Haitian mission.  

US and Mexico instead proposed hitting Haitian gang leaders with sanctions and advocated for a limited, carefully scoped, non-U.N. mission led by a partner country with the deep, necessary experience. 

Canada and the US also offered armored vehicles and other artillery to help Haitian police quell the powerful gangs that reportedly control most of the country. 

The mission in Haiti is set to help combat gangs terrorizing the country, which has overpowered the Haitian police.

Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda offered to support the mission, while the US only pledged logistical support.

Notably, the mission will not be under the United Nations' Control despite being subject to council voting to make the mission legal under internal law.

In September, Kenya and the United States and Kenya signed a Ksh 14.8 billion defense deal agreement as part of US support for Kenya’s Security mission.

In recent years Haiti has been subject to growing gang dominance through rape, kidnappings, and robberies being their mode of operation.

A UN report from the secretary-general's office indicated  2,800 murders between October 2022 and June 2023, including 80 killings of minors.

An armed gang in Haiti.
An armed gang in Haiti.
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