President William Ruto has welcomed the United Nations Security Council’s approval of a foreign security mission to Haiti amid ongoing gang violence in Port-au-Prince.
The 15-member council adopted a resolution on Monday authorizing the Kenya-led ‘Multinational Security Support mission’ to aid Haitian police in combating the gangs.
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The resolution, drafted by the United States and Ecuador, received 13 votes in favour, with China and Russia abstaining.
In a press statement, President Ruto described the mission as “an overdue and critical instrument to define the multinational mission” and emphasized its moral significance.
He stated, “The situation in Haiti demands actions be scaled up significantly to meet the demands of emergency relief, humanitarian aid, support for livelihoods, and major interventions in public health and environmental protection.”
1,000 troops to Haiti
Kenya has pledged to send 1,000 troops to Haiti, while the Bahamas has committed 150 personnel, with Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda also offering assistance.
President Ruto highlighted Kenya’s commitment to the mission as an affirmation of Pan-African unity and solidarity with the African Diaspora, rooted in Africa’s colonial history.
“For us in Kenya, this mission is of special significance and critical urgency. We experienced the harrowing brunt of colonialism and the long, difficult struggle for freedom,” said Ruto.
The resolution grants the mission authority to “take all necessary measures,” including the use of force, to combat the gangs. This use of force raised concerns for China and Russia, prompting their abstention from the vote.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua indicated that Kenyan troops would arrive in Port-au-Prince “in the coming months,” though no specific date was provided.
Haiti has faced escalating violence since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021. Armed gangs have taken control of significant portions of the country, exacerbated by health, political, and economic crises.
United Nations data reveals that over 2,400 people have died in violence in Haiti since the beginning of the year, prompting calls for international intervention.
The United States and other countries have offered support, with the U.S. also pledging logistical assistance.