The United States holds the key to the imminent deployment of the first contingent of Kenya’s elite police force destined for Haiti, a top diplomat has disclosed.

Kenya’s Ambassador to the United Nations Martin Kimani told the UN Security Council that a preliminary group comprising 400 police officers stands ready for deployment, contingent upon the facilitation of American logistics and resources as anticipated by Nairobi.

Amb Kimani highlighted the pivotal role of essential resources, encompassing financing, equipment, and logistics, in determining the success of the mission.

“The deployment and success of the Mission depends on the necessary resources, including financing, equipment and logistics,” said Amb.

This development coincides with a telephonic conversation between Kenya’s President, William Ruto, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Kenya's President William Ruto with Haiti PM Ariel Henry in Nairobi. Image: courtesy.
Kenya’s President William Ruto with Haiti PM Ariel Henry in Nairobi. Image: courtesy.

The discussion centered on the persisting political and security turmoil in Haiti, with both leaders affirming their commitment to deploying a Multinational Security Support mission.

The primary objective of the deployment is to assist the Haitian National Police in establishing the necessary security conditions for conducting free and fair elections.

The diplomatic collaboration between the two nations culminated in the signing of a “reciprocal” agreement, paving the way for the deployment of Kenyan police personnel to Haiti in a bid to quell the ongoing unrest.

Despite the absence of specific details regarding the timeline for the Kenyan force deployment and logistical support, the deteriorating situation in Haiti, marked by the extension of a state of emergency, raises potential complications.

Amb Kimani urged the UN Secretariat to ensure flexibility and alignment of the Trust Fund with the mission’s needs, considering the complex and challenging operational environment anticipated for the deployed force.

Expressing deep concern, the United Nations has underscored the gravity of the situation in Haiti, where a surge in gang violence has resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands of individuals and effectively paralysed the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Haiti has been grappling with widespread gang violence for over two years, following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021.

The Haitian prime minister Ariel Henry was in Kenya a fortnight ago when the latest unrest began. The visit aimed to revive plans for a possible UN-backed police deployment to Haiti to help stem the country’s gang violence.