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Haiti is no bed of roses for Kenya police, the US fears it, Orengo tells Ruto

Siaya Governor James Orengo has criticised President William Ruto’s directive to deploy Kenyan police officers to Haiti in the wake of insecurity in some parts of the country.

According to Governor Orengo, it is ironic for a government to send its security officers to another country when it is facing security challenges at home.

The politician, who belongs to the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party, cited tribal clashes in Sondu, Kisumu-Kericho border and the ongoing banditry and cattle rustling in Kerio Valley as reasons why the Head of State should refrain from sending police to Haiti.

Mr Orengo suggests that President Ruto should first address the problems in his own country.

“You should not send people (referring to police officers) to Haiti if you cannot control peace and security in the Republic of Kenya. We are telling the president that we will make as much noise as we can,” the governor said.

He pointed out that maintaining peace in a foreign country is more expensive than dealing with domestic challenges.

Located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, Haiti descended into chaos after the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moïse, in July 2021.

Rebel groups formed gangs that have since taken control of the country, resulting in deaths and the destruction of property and businesses.

“In Haiti, we know there is someone called Barbecue (Haitian gang leader Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Cherizier). Even the Americans and the French are afraid of him. The French – France speaks the same language, but they are afraid to send their police there,” said Governor Orengo.

In January 2024, the government suffered a setback when the court barred the National Security Council from sending police officers to Haiti.

High Court Judge Chacha Mwita declared that the manner in which the proposed deployment was carried out was unconstitutional, null and void.

Judge Mwita stated that the National Security Council had no legal mandate to deploy police officers under the law, adding that it could only do so with the defence forces.

The NSC is chaired by the President and includes the Inspector General of Police (IG), the Cabinet Secretary for Home Affairs, the Principal Secretary for Security, the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Attorney General (AG).

The court ruling followed a petition filed by Third Way Alliance leader Dr Ekuru Aukot protesting President Ruto’s directive to send Kenyan police officers to Haiti to help restore calm.