Kenya's President Ruto urges UN to back security support for Haiti

Friday September 22 2023

Kenya’s President William Ruto addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City, US on September 21, 2023. PHOTO | TIMOTHY A. CLARY | AFP


Kenya's President William Ruto urged the United Nations Security Council on Thursday to formally back a security support mission to Haiti.

He said Kenya is ready to lead a multinational security support mission into Haiti and called on the United Nations to urgently deliver the appropriate framework to make it happen.

Haiti last year asked for help to combat violent gangs that have largely overrun the capital Port-au-Prince and Kenya is one of the countries that offered assistance.

Kenya sent an assessment team to Haiti one month ago with the idea of deploying 1,000 of its police. There are only about 10,000 police officers in Haiti for more than 11 million people.

Read: Haiti welcomes Kenya offer to bolster security

A multinational police deployment would not be a UN mission.


The council could vote as soon as next week, diplomats said, on a US-drafted resolution supporting a multinational police deployment.

“Kenya stands in solidarity with all humanity, without regard to region or border or hemisphere. This is why, and how we see the people of Haiti, who are suffering immensely from the bitter legacy of slavery, colonialism, sabotage and neglect.” said Ruto in his address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

“We urge the United Nations to urgently deliver an appropriate framework to facilitate the deployment of Multinational Security Support as part of a holistic response to Haiti's challenges.”

He said Kenya was ready to play its part in full and join with a coalition of other nations of goodwill to support Haiti.

"As we mobilize to show up for Ukraine, and countries that have experienced the devastating impact of climate shocks including Libya, Morocco and Hawaii, we must not leave Haiti behind."

Ruto told the annual gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly insisting that doing nothing for Haiti was not an option.

“We call on the Security Council to contribute positively by approving a resolution on a Chapter Seven that tailors the security support mission to the specific needs of Haiti and its people,” he added.

Haiti has seen an escalation in violence and kidnappings by armed gangs since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

Read: Haitian PM says was targeted in assassination attempt

With the Haiti police force ill-equipped and outgunned, armed groups have been driving residents out of neighbourhoods in the capital of Port-au-Prince and the neighbouring Artibonite Valley.

Countries have been wary of supporting the unelected administration of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who has said fair elections cannot be held with the current insecurity. Haiti has been without any elected representatives since January.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a report to the council last month that a robust use of force by a multinational police deployment and the use of military assets was needed to restore law and order in Haiti and disarm gangs.