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IG Japhet Koome meets Haiti security officials ahead of deployment

The Inspector General (IG) of police, Japhet Koome has assured Haitians that it is committed to the Multilateral Security Support Mission to the troubled Caribbean nation ahead of deployment.

Koome who held talks with a visiting delegation of Haiti police at the National Police Service (NPS) headquarters, in Nairobi, hailed the collaboration that will help restore law and order in Haiti.

Speaking after meeting with the team on Tuesday, the IG assured the delegation of the commitment to the Haiti mission.

“The National Police Service (NPS) remains committed to collaboration in the mission, for the good of the people of Haiti, especially women and children,” IG Koome said.

His Caribbean counterpart assured him that Haiti would accord the Kenyan contingent all the necessary support to make the mission a success.

“We are counting on your support for the good of the people of Haiti, especially women and children,” said the Haitian Police official Joachim Prohete.

The meeting was also attended by DIG Kenya Police Service, Douglas Kanja, and DIG Administration Police Service, Noor Gabow, who is the lead NPS Officer on the Haiti Mission.

Currently, preparations are at the helm and the Kenyan officers are expected to jet out of the country and head to the Caribbean-based nation any time soon.

The Multinational Security Support Mission in Haiti was authorised by the United Nations Security Council on October 2, 2023, under Resolution 2699.

Kenya is set to deploy a contingent of 1,000 police officers to Haiti which is supposed to kick off in the coming days will be at a time when the Caribbean-based country is facing numerous challenges.

For instance, the mission which is being funded by the UN is taking place at a time when Haiti has the highest number of gangs compared to similar assignments that have in the past taken place there.

The gang-infested nation has seen over 2,500 people get killed since January 2024 and over 360,000 people displaced.

Interim Prime Minister Garry Conille, who was sworn in on June 3, has to select a new cabinet and get a transition council to agree on how to improve security and restore control.

Restoring political stability is a priority for the U.N. agencies and other local and foreign aid groups trying to deliver food and other essential items in areas controlled by gangs.

The first time the UN carried out a similar mission in Haiti to restore peace was in 1994 and had over 1,200 members.

What awaits the Kenya-led mission in Haiti remains unknown even as top gang leaders led by Mr Jimmy Cherizier alias Barbecue warn that they will face a “massacre.”

A group of lawyers under the umbrella of the Law Society of Kenya is opposed to the deployment of the officers to Haiti.

However, despite all this President William Ruto has already made it clear that the officers would still go to Haiti.