Kenya President Ruto flags off 400 police officers to Haiti to combat gang violence

Tuesday June 25 2024

Kenyan police officers attend a pre-departure briefing for the first contingent of police officers to deploy to Haiti at Embakasi in Nairobi, Kenya on June 24, 2024. PHOTO | X via President William Ruto (@WilliamsRuto)


Kenyan President William Ruto on Monday flagged off the first group of 400 police officers, marking their deployment to Haiti to combat gang violence.

The ceremony in the capital Nairobi saw President Ruto hand over the Kenyan flag to the officers who will participate in the Multinational Security Support Mission in Haiti.

This mission was authorised by the United Nations Security Council on October 2, 2023, under Resolution 2699.

The deployment has faced several delays and legal challenges, including being declared illegal by the Kenyan High Court at one point.

Despite these obstacles, the group is set to leave for Haiti on Tuesday.

Read: Ruto defends Haiti police deployment in US visit


Kenyan Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome has appointed Senior Assistant Inspector General of Police Godfrey Otunge as the new commander for the more than 2,500 police officers involved in the Haiti operation. An advance team has already departed for Haiti ahead of the main group's arrival.

Last week, Kenya reached an agreement with the Haitian government on rules of engagement for the security personnel, who may face fierce opposition from the well-armed gangs that have taken control of Haiti's capital and overwhelmed local police.

More than 1,000 Kenyan police officers will join other international teams in Haiti to address the gang violence.

In addition to Kenya, countries such as Chile, Jamaica, Grenada, Paraguay, Burundi, Chad, Nigeria, and Mauritius will also send officers to Haiti.