Haiti in limbo as Kenya halts U.N.-backed police deployment

The situation in Haiti keeps deteriorating, with gangs controlling large areas of the country.

Haiti is facing a growing sense of insecurity after a Kenyan high court judge ruled last Friday to halt the deployment of a U.N.-backed police force that was supposed to help fight the rampant gang violence in the Caribbean nation.

The judge based his decision on the legal grounds that the National Security Council, which had approved the deployment, did not have the constitutional mandate to send police forces outside Kenya’s borders.

The situation in Haiti is dire, as the latest U.N. figures show that the number of killings in the country increased by more than 100% to almost 4,500 in 2023, while the number of kidnappings rose by over 80% to nearly 2,500 cases.

A U.N. report released recently also exposes the crisis faced by Haiti’s National Police force, which is losing officers at a high rate and struggling to cope with the dominant gangs. The report says that more than 1,600 officers left the force last year, and 48 were killed.

Many Haitians, however, remain doubtful about the effectiveness of U.N. intervention and the presence of foreign troops in tackling the gang problem in their country.

Kenyan President William Ruto has said that he will appeal the court’s ruling, but it is not clear how long this will take. It is also uncertain whether other countries that had agreed to send smaller contingents to join the multinational mission will go ahead with their plans.

Some of the countries that had announced their intention to participate in the mission include the Bahamas, Jamaica, Belize, Burundi, Chad, and Senegal.

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