First contingent of Kenyan security forces leave for Haiti

A contingent of 400 Kenyan police officers arrived in Haiti,Tuesday, marking over 18 months since then-Prime Minister Ariel Henry initially requested a security force from the United Nations to help restore order in the violence-ridden nation.

Kenya has offered to send 1,000 police to stabilise Haiti, alongside forces from several other countries, but the deployment has run into persistent legal troubles.

Interior minister Kithure Kindiki said in a statement: "Honoured to see off the first batch of the contingent of the National Police Service officers who are part of the historic United Nations Mission to Haiti," accompanied by images of the officers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The group comprises elite officers from the Rapid Deployment Unit, General Service Unit, Administration Police, and Kenya Police.

The deployment came hours after President William Ruto – an enthusiastic backer of the mission – bid a ceremonial goodbye to the officers on Monday.

Media was not invited to the ceremony in Nairobi where Ruto prayed for the officers and handed them a Kenyan national flag, according to the footage shared by the presidency.

"This mission is one of the most urgent, important and historic in the history of global solidarity," Ruto told the officers in quotes shared by his office.

The deployment was approved by a UN Security Council resolution in October, only to be delayed by a Kenyan court decision in January.

Read more on RFI English

Read also:
A history of violence: Haiti's revolution, collapse and descent into anarchy
France to evacuate vulnerable citizens from Haiti as unrest rages
Kenyan court says police cannot deploy to Haiti mission