Kenya and Haiti officially established diplomatic relations on Wednesday, solidifying the ties between the two nations. This development comes months after Kenya agreed to deploy 1,000 police officers and lead a multinational police force in the crisis-hit Caribbean country.
The establishment agreement was signed in the presence of President Ruto and Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry at the Kenyan Mission in New York, coinciding with President Ruto’s participation in the ongoing UNGA sessions, where he is expected to address the Haiti deployment among other critical issues.
According to State House, Nairobi, this agreement will foster cooperation in various areas of mutual interest. President Ruto emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach, encompassing political, security, and developmental considerations, to effectively address the complex situation in Haiti.
He reiterated Kenya’s commitment to spearheading a well-resourced and efficient multinational security support mission in Haiti. President Ruto further stated that Kenya, as a leading nation in the UN-backed security mission, is dedicated to deploying a specialized team tasked with assessing the situation comprehensively and formulating actionable strategies to pave the way for long-term solutions.
Notably, Kenya had dispatched a team of officials in August to explore ways to assist Haiti in combating rampant gang violence. President Ruto’s commitment to deploying a specialized team indicates a determination to address the crisis more effectively.
During the opening of the UNGA sessions on Monday, U.S. President Joe Biden commended President Ruto for taking on the leadership of this international police force, underscoring Kenya’s global role in promoting peace and security.
The United Nations Security Council could vote on the multinational force for Haiti in about a week, Brian Nichols, U.S assistant secretary for western hemisphere affairs, said in an interview with Voice of America this week.
The Haitian government first sought international assistance last October, but despite repeated calls from the United Nations, the request went unanswered until Kenya said it was prepared to lead such a group in August.
As the prospect of a Haiti mission takes shape, calls are growing to ensure safeguards are in place to protect Haitians from the woes of past foreign interventions, most recently a UN peacekeeping mission marred by sexual abuse claims and links to a deadly cholera outbreak.
Rights observers say such protections are even more urgent given Kenya’s own legacy of police abuse, which has come under renewed scrutiny.
Your support empowers us to deliver quality global journalism. Whether big or small, every contribution is valuable to our mission and readers.