Parliament to have final say on deployment of police to Haiti – Kindiki

Sunday, October 8th, 2023 18:01 | By
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki (center) during a church service at St. Andrews ACK Ndenderu, Kiambaa Constituency, Kiambu County, on Sunday, October 8, 2023. PHOTO/Kithure Kindiki(@KindikiKithure)/X

Interior and National Administration Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki says Members of Parliament (MPs) will have a final say on the government's plans to deploy Kenyan police to combat criminal gangs in Haiti.

Speaking during a church service at St. Andrews ACK Ndenderu in Kiambu County on Sunday, October 8, Kindiki affirmed that there would be no violation of the law in the deployment of the Kenyan troops to the Carribean nation.

"The request by United Nations Security Council for deployment of Police officers to Haiti will be subject to Parliamentary approval. Article 240 of the Constitution requires Parliament to approve deployment of security forces to any peacekeeping mission in foreign nations," Kindiki said.

"There will be no shortcuts or violation of the Constitution in deployment of our police officers to Haiti. Kenya has previously contributed troops to peacekeeping missions in Namibia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Somalia and Congo."

The CS further allayed fears over the safety of the Kenyan officers saying, "Deployment of our security officers to Haiti will not in any way compromise or undermine our commitment and responsibility to safety and security of our citizens."

Kenya agreed to send 1,000 police officers to Haiti in a deal signed by Minister Jean Victor Génus and former Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua last month.

President William Ruto and Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry witnessed the signing of the agreement at the Kenyan Mission in New York, United States.

The United Nations Security Council voted to approve the Kenya-led mission last Monday. 13 nations voted in favour of the mission while China and the Russian Federation abstained.

President Ruto on Tuesday said he was confident the mission would succeed.

“The situation in Haiti demands, as a matter of humanitarian consideration, moral responsibility and fundamental justice, that actions be scaled up significantly to meet the demands of emergency relief, humanitarian aid, support for livelihoods and major interventions in public health and environmental protection,” the president said.

“...We shall succeed in Haiti. We must not fail the people of Haiti,” he added.

The deployment date is yet to be announced.

Opposition mounts on Haiti mission

The mission has, however, received strong opposition from a section of the political class led by Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga.

Raila on Wednesday dismissed Kenya's plans to deploy its troops to Haiti as a misplaced priority.

According to the opposition chief, the security situation in the Caribbean nation needs a political solution and not guns.

“Why Kenya? The US itself withdrew its forces from there, the problem with Haiti is political, they do not need more guns to calm that situation," Raila said during an interview with a local TV station.

"I don't see if the situation in Haiti is a priority to Kenyans... Haitians should be encouraged to find a homegrown solution so that you can have a sustainable democracy," he added.

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