US support Kenya offer to lead an international police force to help fight gangs in Haiti

The United States on Tuesday announced that it will introduce a United Nations Security Council resolution that would allow Kenya to lead a multinational police force to help fight the gangs in Haiti that control much of the country capital and is spreading in this Caribbean country.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told a news conference at the start of his term as US council president this month that “we welcome Kenya’s decision to lead the multinational force ( and) we will issue a resolution to support this effort.

Urgent appeal by Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry was issued last October for the “immediate deployment of a full-fledged armed force” to stop the gangs. Since then, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has been unsuccessfully calling for a lead state to help restore order in Latin America’s poorest country.

More than nine months later, Kenya was the first country to “positively consider” leading a force, offering to send 1,000 police officers to help train and assist the Haitian National Police in “restoring normalcy for the country and protect strategic facilities”.

Kenya’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday said it plans to send a task force to Haiti in the coming weeks to assess the operational needs of the police mission. Thomas-Greenfield said the US would work with other council members on a resolution “that will give the Kenyans what they need to establish their presence in Haiti.”

She did not give a timetable but expressed hope that a resolution would be unanimously adopted, like the two most recent resolutions on Haiti. An October 2022 resolution calls for an immediate end to violence and criminal activity in Haiti, and imposes sanctions on individuals and groups that threaten peace and stability – starting with powerful gang leader, Jimmy Barbecue Cherizier.

UN resolutions was passed July 14 calling on Guterres to offer “the full range of options” within 30 days to help fight armed gangs in Haiti, including one that is not part of the United Nations international police force.

“Unusual is the situation says Thomas-Greenfield, but what is taking place in Haiti is more unusual.”

“This is not a conventional peacekeeping mission, this is not a conventional security problem,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “We have gangs that have invaded the country… intimidating people always.”

She stressed that “this is really a police action to stabilize the country so that the country can return to the path of democracy, so that they can move forward with a political process that leads to a proper functioning government.” will cope with future situation.

Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on July 7, 2021 gangs have grown in Haiti in seize and are now estimated to control 80% of the capital. The increase in murders, rapes, and kidnappings led to a violent revolt by the civil vigilantes.

The country’s political crisis was exacerbated by gang warfare: Haiti was stripped of all democratically elected institutions when the terms of the country’s remaining 10 senators expired at the beginning of the year. January.

Welcoming Kenya’s proposal, Haitian Foreign Minister Jean Victor Généus said “Haiti appreciates this display of African solidarity and looks forward to hosting the evaluation mission proposed by Kenya in the coming weeks.” next”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also welcomed Kenya’s proposal and called on the Security Council to support a non-UN organization. multinational operations in Haiti, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said on Monday.

The UN chief encouraged UN member states, “especially in the region, to join forces from Kenya” to support the country’s police, the spokesman said.

Guterres said the estimate by the United Nations Independent Expert on Haiti William O’Neill that 2,000 more anti-gang police are needed is not an exaggeration.

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