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Kenyan Officials’ Arrival In Haiti Prior To Scheduled Security Mission

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A law enforcement source in Haiti has confirmed the arrival of a Kenyan “command staff” delegation, preceding the much-anticipated deployment of a Kenyan-led multinational security support force to the Caribbean nation.

The delegation’s primary task this week is to evaluate the readiness of equipment and facilities for the foreign police forces, a crucial step in determining the deployment timeline, as per sources familiar with the preparations cited by CNN.

Additionally, members of the delegation are slated to engage in discussions with US and United Nations officials during their visit to Haiti, according to reports.

Last year, the UN Security Council authorized a multinational mission to assist Haiti’s National Police in combating dangerous gangs that have gained control over large swathes of Port-au-Prince, the capital.

Despite robust backing from the US and other regional powers, the mission has faced numerous hurdles, including legal challenges and uncertainties. Further delays occurred following the resignation of former Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry in March, pending the establishment of a transitional governing council.

The council, in a recent statement, affirmed its collaboration with top Haitian police officials to oversee the multinational mission, emphasizing Haiti’s authority over all aspects, including composition, objectives, rules of engagement, and health protocols.

Kenya is in the final stages of preparing for the mission, with the country’s principal secretary of foreign affairs, Korir Sing’Oei, highlighting the formation of the council and other institutions in Haiti as crucial prerequisites.

The mission’s launch is scheduled by the end of this month, supported by a UN-managed trust fund totaling $21 million, contributed by Canada, France, Spain, and the United States. Several nations, including the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Chad, Jamaica, and Kenya, have offered personnel for the mission.

In a Senate Foreign Relations hearing, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended US funding for the mission, underscoring the critical role of international support in preventing Haiti from descending into a failed state.

Blinken noted Haiti’s National Police’s efforts in reclaiming control of vital infrastructure, such as the airport, and the resumption of commercial flights, expressing optimism about American carriers resuming operations in the country soon.

The upcoming White House meeting between US President Joe Biden and Kenyan President William Ruto, along with first lady Rachel Ruto, is expected to feature discussions on Haiti among other pressing issues.

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