Court Blocks Kenyan Govt From Deploying Police To Haiti

The judge argued that this deployment would be illegal because the National Security Council does not have the legal authority to send police officers outside of Kenya.

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
4 Min Read

The Kenyan High Court has prohibited the government from sending police officers to Haiti to combat gangs.

The judge argued that this deployment would be illegal because the National Security Council does not have the legal authority to send police officers outside of Kenya.

The judge clarified that the council can only deploy the military, not the police, for peacekeeping missions like the one in Haiti.

Kenya had previously volunteered to lead a multinational security force in Haiti to address the issue of gang violence.

The judge further explained that, according to Kenyan law, the government can only send police officers to another country if there is a reciprocal agreement between Kenya and the host nation.

The Kenyan government has stated that it will appeal against this ruling. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry had requested the urgent deployment of a multinational force from the United Nations (UN) last year.

He stated that his government was overwhelmed by gangs that controlled 80% of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The UN Security Council supported Kenya’s offer to lead the force, and Kenyan lawmakers subsequently approved the deployment.

In Haiti, the potential deployment has received mixed reactions from community members who have been victims of gangs.

Laurent Uwumuremyi, the country director of Mercy Corps, stated that the mission could help improve access to public infrastructure and address the humanitarian crisis.

However, some community members believe that Haiti does not need outside intervention and view it as a waste of money and time.

Ekuru Aukot, the Kenyan opposition leader who brought the case, sees the court ruling as a victory for the country.

He believes that Kenya cannot afford to send officers abroad before addressing its own security challenges.

Aukot also accuses President William Ruto of using the deployment to enhance his international image and gain favor with Western countries like the US.

President Ruto, on the other hand, highlights Kenya’s impressive track record in participating in peace support missions worldwide.

He stated that the deployment would allow officers to enhance and refine their skills and expertise in providing security.

However, concerns have been raised about the suitability of Kenyan police for the deployment due to potential human rights violations.

Nicole Widdersheim, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch, informed the BBC that they have documented instances of Kenyan police violence, including murders, dating back to 2013.

She also mentioned that there is a history of international armed intervention in Haiti that has resulted in numerous atrocities.

The Kenyan government has denied any allegations of human rights violations by its officers.

A police officer who had already undergone two months of intensive training expressed demoralization due to the ruling.

“I was prepared to go. I wanted to see how other police officers are doing their work and to add on to my experience.”

However, he stated that he would utilize the training to serve in Kenya.

This marks the second significant court ruling that has gone against the Kenyan government on the same day. Additionally, the High Court has dismissed the government’s effort to reverse a ban on a contentious housing levy.

This development follows Mr. Ruto’s recent criticism of judges whom he accused of corruption for obstructing government policies.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.