President Ruto, Haiti PM Ariel Henry seal police deployment deal

Friday March 01 2024

Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry (L) and President William Ruto witness the signing ceremony of Kenya police deployment to Haiti at state house Nairobi, Kenya on March 1, 2024. PHOTO | PCS


Kenya and Haiti on Friday signed an agreement for the deployment of 1,000 police officers to the Multinational Security Support (MSS) Mission in the nation’s capital Port-au-Prince.

Kenya's President William Ruto and Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry witnessed the signing ceremony at state house Nairobi.

Henry jetted into the country after the 46th Ordinary Meeting of Caribbean Community (Caricom) Heads of State and Government held in Guyana on February 28.

Read: Haiti PM to visit Kenya over police deployment

President Ruto had offered 1,000 police officers to lead the multinational force in Haiti.


President William Ruto (R) gives a speech as Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry and other state officials listen at state house Nairobi, Kenya. PHOTO | PCS


However, the High Court had blocked the deployment of Kenyan police to gang-ruled Haiti to help bring the situation under control.

Justice Chacha Mwita, in blocking the decision to send police to Haiti, argued that the National Security Council - headed by the president - lacked the authority to deploy regular police outside the country.

Justice Mwita said that the under Kenyan law, the authorities could only deploy officers abroad if there was a "reciprocal arrangement" with the host government.

"It is not disputed that there is no reciprocal arrangement between Kenya and Haiti and therefore there can be no deployment of police to that country," Mwita said.

Government spokesman Isaac Mwaura said the government would appeal the decision.

Haiti first appealed for help in 2022 as gang violence soared. But it was unable to find a nation willing to lead the security mission.

Last July, Ruto said he was willing to send Kenyan police to help stem the deepening crisis.

Read: How Kenya could help Haiti

The 1,000 Kenyan troops selected for the mission include teams from the Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU), Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU), General Service Unit (GSU), and Border Patrol Unit.

About two weeks ago, Haiti announced that it was working on an official agreement with Kenyan officials to secure the long-awaited deployment of police officers from Nairobi.

Reuters reported that the UN documented 4,789 people killed by gang violence in Haiti last year, a 119 percent increase from 2022, and that another 3,000 were kidnapped.

In mid-February 2024, a Kenyan police officer died in a hotel room in the US capital Washington DC while on a reconnaissance mission to Haiti.

Chief Inspector Walter Nyankieya Nyamato was part of an advance security team dispatched to Haiti on a reconnaissance mission ahead of the planned deployment of the Kenyan peacekeeping force.

Nyamato, who was based at the Jogoo House police headquarters, was enroute to Haiti alongside several other colleagues.