Mission Impossible

Listen to Today's Edition
Voiced by Amazon Polly

The first of Kenya’s special forces police arrived in Haiti’s capital this week, as part of a United Nations-backed international force with the mission to stabilize the security situation in the Caribbean nation after years of political crisis, violence and a partial takeover of the country by criminal gangs, the Guardian reported.

The Kenyan officers landed in Port-au-Prince late on Monday, at the capital’s airport, which was reopened this week after being closed for months because of a gang uprising. Another 200 officers will arrive in the upcoming days, according to Kenyan media, with a total of 1,000 Kenyan officers expected to join the mission.

The troops are part of a “multinational security support mission” that was first authorized by a UN Security Council resolution last year. Kenya offered 1,000 troops to lead the mission, with Jamaica, Barbados and Bangladesh also pledging personnel, according to Reuters.

However, the troop deployment lagged for months amid ongoing chaos in Haiti and legal challenges in Kenya over the troop deployment.

The mission aims to assist Haiti’s beleaguered police force in fighting gang violence that has swept large parts of the country and seen 80 percent of Port-au-Prince fall under the control of criminal gangs.

The island nation has been in the midst of a political crisis and volatile security situation since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021.

Civil society groups and UN officials said the Kenyan forces come from paramilitary and police units experienced fighting Islamist insurgents in eastern Africa, adding that they are “no strangers to violent armed actors.”

They suggested that younger combatants might be more willing to surrender, citing a lack of ideology among gang members.

Even so, many Haitians remain skeptical about another international intervention, after previous UN missions were accused of human rights violations, sexual abuse and also triggering a cholera outbreak.

Haitian police also complained that the funds to bankroll the multinational force are not being used to boost their own efforts to fight armed gangs.

On Tuesday, Haiti’s transitional council announced that the national police will oversee the UN-backed mission, including making decisions on its “makeup, objectives, rules of engagement and health measures.”

Not already a subscriber?

If you would like to receive DailyChatter directly to your inbox each morning, subscribe below with a free two-week trial.

Subscribe today

Support journalism that’s independent, non-partisan, and fair.

If you are a student or faculty with a valid school email, you can sign up for a FREE student subscription or faculty subscription.

Questions? Write to us at hello@dailychatter.com.

Copy link