June 18, 2024

Ruto meets Haiti special security team for a briefing on findings of the mission 

4 min read
Ruto meets Haiti special security team for a briefing on findings of the mission 

President William Ruto said Friday met a team that flew to Haiti to find out on preparations to deploy police officers to the Caribbean country

President William Ruto said Friday met a team that flew to Haiti to find out on preparations to deploy police officers to the Caribbean country. 

Ruto said he is confident the police team to be deployed to Haiti for peacekeeping mission will meet its mandate.

He made the remarks when he received a comprehensive brief from the team that undertook an assessment mission to ascertain the state of preparedness for the deployment of our officers.

This is in light of Kenya’s lead role in the UN Security Council-mandated Multinational Security support Mission (MSS) to Haiti.

“I am confident of the fulfillment of the mandate of UNSC Resolution 2699 (2023),” he said.

The head of the team who is the Deputy Inspector General of Administration Police Noor Gabow presented the report at Lanet Barracks in Nakuru.

The reconnaissance team to Haiti has concluded the local police need urgent retraining to be able to instill law and order.

The team arrived back in Kenya on May 27 after a weeklong tour.

Officials said the team had concluded there is urgent need for retraining of the Haiti police.

Among others, the Haiti police need special squads that can respond to various scenes and contain any threat.

The team participated in an ongoing training of a small team of special squads in Port au Prince and gave a lecture on their expectations.

The special squad is being trained by an American team on the ground and will come in handy when more foreign police officers arrive, officials say.

Teams are identifying translators to be used in the anticipated operations.

They will be used in training, patrols and other operations both in Kenya and Haiti.

More than 1,000 police officers will join other teams in deploying to Haiti to fight gangs terrorizing locals.

Apart from Kenya, other countries that will send officers to Haiti are Chile, Jamaica, Grenada, Paraguay, Burundi, Chad, Nigeria and Mauritius.

The Kenyan teams are from the Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU), Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU), General Service Unit (GSU), and Border Patrol Unit (BPU).

This is a combat-trained team that officials say can handle the situation on the ground professionally.

They have undertaken training in various areas including language.

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Ruto said the police peacekeeping police force is expected to arrive in Haiti to help quell growing gang violence in about three weeks.

The officers were expected to start arriving before the end of May but an advance team on the ground said some logistics are not ready hence the extension of two more weeks.

In Haiti, anticipation is high that the arrival of foreign forces will help loosen the tight grip by armed gangs that have forced shortages in medications and food, the team found out.

Kenya, which is leading the 2,500-member security force, has agreed with the Haitian government on rules of engagement for the security personnel, who could face fierce opposition from the well-armed Haitian gangs that have taken over the country’s capital and overwhelmed local police.

Gabow and his team met with the seven members of the Transitional Presidential Council, which is exercising the functions of the office of the president until such a time as a new president is elected and inaugurated.

The team has appointed Garry Connile as the new Prime Minister of Haiti.

The reconnaissance team also met local police commanders for talks and way forward.

And as part of the agreement, at least 2,000 Haiti police officers will fly to Kenya for training.

The middle and lower cadre officers will be flown to Kenya for a short training on law, combat and other policing matters before they go back to their country for deployment, it was agreed.

Officials said the team identified key places the more than 2,5000 police officers will be deployed in Haiti when they land there.

The team agreed with local leadership they will man the main port, airport, main hospital, two main highways and the White House which is the presidential palace.

The Kenyan delegation found that Haiti lacks the equipment to accommodate a deployment of the police officers.

The Kenyan team found that the country not only lacks armored vehicles to move the foreign troops around, it also faces a deficit of radios and communications equipment.

The mission still needs to procure helicopters to evacuate potential casualties from the country, where dozens of hospitals have been destroyed or looted since February 29, when gangs united to topple the government.

The cops will serve as the backbone of a force that will include officers from at least six different countries from Africa, the Caribbean and southern Asia.

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