Kenya Force To Leave For Haiti On June 25: Gov’t, Police

(AFP)— A Kenyan force will leave for Haiti on June 25 to lead a UN-backed mission to tackle gang violence in the Caribbean state, despite court challenges against the deployment, government and police sources said Sunday.

Kenya offered to send about 1,000 police to stabilise Haiti alongside personnel from several other countries, but the deployment has run into legal challenges in the East African nation.

President William Ruto has been an enthusiastic backer of the mission and said this month that the deployment would begin within weeks.

“The departure is this week on Tuesday,” an interior ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

“Preparations are set for the team to depart for Haiti on Tuesday. We already have two advance teams that left — one last week and another one yesterday,” a senior police official said.

A UN Security Council resolution in October last year approved the mission but a Kenyan court in January delayed the deployment.

It said the Kenyan government did not have the authority to send police officers abroad without a prior agreement.

The government secured that agreement on March 1 but a small opposition party in Kenya has filed a fresh lawsuit to try to block it.

Aside from Kenya, other countries that have expressed willingness to join the mission include Benin, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados and Chad.

Global monitor Human Rights Watch has raised concerns about the mission and doubts over its funding.

Rights groups have accused Kenyan police of using excessive force and carrying out unlawful killings.

On Friday, a police watchdog said it was investigating allegations that a 29-year-old man was shot by officers in Nairobi after youth-led demonstrations against proposed tax hikes.