Kenya’s decision to send 1,000 police officers to Haiti as part of the Multinational Security Support plan has come under scrutiny.
Many people in Kenya are questioning whether their own country, which faces numerous challenges in terms of policing and security, has the resources and ability to assist Haiti effectively.
The aim of the MSS plan is to neutralise the gangs that have taken control of entire territories in Haiti, restoring peace and stability to the nation. However, critics argue that this mission is unconstitutional and poses a significant risk to the officers involved.
In Haiti, gangs have taken control of areas in the mountains and major roadways, making it difficult for the police to maintain law and order. The gang members often possess more firepower than the police, leading to a dangerous and volatile situation. It is clear that Haiti is in desperate need of assistance to combat this escalating violence.
Kenya is not alone in its commitment to support Haiti. The United States has pledged $100 million to financially aid Kenya’s mission, highlighting the international community’s recognition of the severity of the issue. Other countries such as the Bahamas, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Spain, Senegal, and Chile have also expressed their intention to contribute to the mission.
However, Kenya’s involvement in this mission has sparked concerns due to the country’s own challenges with human rights abuses committed by its police force. The police in Kenya have been accused of extrajudicial killings, torture, and other forms of police brutality. Given these issues, some people question whether Kenya is the right country to send police officers to assist Haiti.
Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua defended Kenya’s decision, stating that Haiti specifically requested Kenya’s help and that they are fulfilling a humanitarian duty. Mutua emphasised that Kenya has chosen to assist their brothers and sisters in need, despite any shortcomings or criticism.
Kenya’s commitment to deploy police officers to the streets of Haiti has garnered attention, primarily due to the language barrier. It should be noted that English-speaking Kenyan police officers may face challenges in communicating with their Haitian counterparts, who predominantly speak French and Haitian Creole. Consequently, the Kenyan officers will rely on translators to facilitate effective communication.
It is worth mentioning that this is not the first instance of a country attempting to intervene in Haiti. Throughout Haiti’s history, there have been several unsuccessful intervention attempts, none of which have been able to establish enduring stability in the country.