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Kenyan police to tackle Haiti gang violence

Around 1,000 Kenyan police officers are set to be deployed to Haiti in a bid to combat raging gang violence.

Last year, Kenya volunteered to lead a multinational security force in the troubled Caribbean nation.

Yet in January the High Court blocked the plan, ruling the government did not have the authority to deploy police to other countries without an agreement.

It also ruled that the National Security Council lacks the legal authority to send police outside Kenya.

On Thursday, Haiti's PM arrived in the East African state to salvage the plan.

In January, a UN envoy said that gang violence in Haiti had reached "a critical point", with nearly 5,000 deaths reported last year, more than double the number seen in 2022. While in that month alone, more than 1,100 people were killed, injured or kidnapped.

In a statement on Friday, Kenyan President William Ruto said he and Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry had signed an agreement and discussed the next steps to enable the fast-tracking of the deployment.

Along with the Kenyan officers, the Bahamas has committed 150 personnel. Jamaica and the state of Antigua & Barbuda have said they are willing to help, while the US has pledged £158m ($200m) to support the deployment.

Earlier this week, Benin offered 2,000 troops.

However, many Kenyans are opposed to the deployment, arguing that security challenges need to first be tackled at home.


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