Interior and National Administration Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has affirmed that Parliament will play a role in determining the deployment of approximately 1,000 Kenyan troops to the strife-torn nation of Haiti. Speaking at a church service in Kiambu County on Sunday, Kindiki emphasized that the law grants the Parliament the authority to approve any foreign security mission, and this will apply to the situation in Haiti.
He cited Article 240 of the Constitution, which mandates Parliament to authorize the deployment of security personnel for peacekeeping missions. In the event of Kenyan police officers being sent to Haiti, both houses of Parliament will have the opportunity to give their approval. This article also empowers the National Security Council, with Parliament’s involvement, to sanction the deployment of national forces outside Kenya for regional or international peace support missions, as well as the deployment of foreign forces within Kenya.
Kindiki dismissed concerns from skeptics who feared that the mission might compromise national security, emphasizing that the safety of Kenyan citizens remains a top priority for all security agencies.
Despite receiving support from President William Ruto and US President Joe Biden, the deployment has faced strong criticism regarding Kenya’s ability to control the gangs in Haiti. A widely circulated video showed Haitians living abroad protesting the Kenyan government’s decision to send police officers to address the rampant gang violence.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga questioned why Kenya was leading the mission, especially when the UN Security Council had several African states and neighboring nations of Haiti to choose from for the foreign security mission.
Other leaders, including Siaya Governor James Orengo, and experts expressed doubts about the mission’s feasibility, raising concerns about the gangs’ strength and the safety of Kenyan officers due to language barriers and potential confrontations with the gangs, as the primary languages spoken in Haiti are French and Haitian Creole.
On the flip side, some Kenya Kwanza-aligned leaders expressed confidence in the mission, such as Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, who believed Kenya could transform Haiti into a prosperous nation. Former Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua previously mentioned that Kenyan troops would arrive in Port-au-Prince “in the coming months” without specifying a date.
Haiti has faced significant challenges, including armed gangs taking control of large portions of its territory, as a result of intersecting public health, political, and economic crises. The country has been in turmoil since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021.
United Nations data revealed that over 2,400 people have died in violence in Haiti since the beginning of the year. The security mission involves several countries, including the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Antigua.