Kenyan Court Blocks Government’s Plan to Deploy Police to Haiti

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A Kenyan High Court temporarily halted the government’s decision to send police to Haiti on a UN-backed mission to restore peace.

The UN Security Council last week approved the Kenyan-led multinational security force for the country, with Kenya promising 1,000 police officers.

Ekuru Aukot, an opposition politician and lawyer, petitioned the Kenyan government, arguing that the deployment of Kenyan security in the Caribbean country is unconstitutional because it is not in accordance with any laws or treaties. However, a Nairobi court granted an interim injunction on Monday.

According to Aukot, a lawyer who assisted in the revision of Kenya’s constitution in 2010, Kenya was deploying its police abroad while failing to address instability within its borders.

“I am satisfied that the application and petition raise substantial issues of national importance and public interest that require urgent consideration,” Enock Mwita, a judge of the High Court, said.

“A conservatory order is hereby issued restraining the respondents from deploying police officers to Haiti or any other country until October 24, 2023,” the court’s decision states.

Haiti, widely recognised as the most economically disadvantaged nation in the Western Hemisphere, has experienced a prolonged period of unrest characterised by the infiltration of armed gangs into various regions, resulting in the perpetration of severe acts of violence. Furthermore, the nation’s economy and public health infrastructure have suffered significant deterioration.

The operation supported by the United Nations, which was initially authorised for one year, involves the deployment of Kenyan police officers to collaborate with their Haitian counterparts. The objective is for the Kenyan police to take an aggressive stance against gang members, who currently possess superior numbers and weaponry compared to Haitian law enforcement.

According to the UN resolution enacted last week, the force’s mission is to provide “operational support to the Haitian National Police, including capacity building through the planning and execution of joint security support operations.”

According to the law, parliament has not yet approved the deployment, and Kenya’s deployment’s specifics are unknown.

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