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Revealed: Details of the officers set to be deployed to Haiti

Details regarding the deployment of Kenyan police officers to Haiti as part of a peace mission have emerged.

Nairobi News has established that the National Police Service (NPS) is preparing to send 1,000 officers selected exclusively from specialized units within the force.

These officers will be drawn from units such as the General Service Unit (GSU), Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU), Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU), and those affiliated with the Border Patrol Unit (BPU).

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A source within Vigilance House, privy to the matter, disclosed to Nairobi News that officers from specific units were chosen “due to their additional paramilitary training, which makes them well-suited for collaboration with personnel from other countries.”

The source, a senior officer, emphasized the importance of selecting officers with specialized training for the mission.

The officer further revealed that those who will be sent to Haiti will be wearing Kenyan uniforms because they are not under the UN.

Before departing for Haiti, all selected officers will undergo a period of familiarization and additional training, during which they will be housed in a single camp to facilitate teamwork and coordination.

“They might be taken to Kiganjo or even the GSU training facility in Magadi so that they can work together as they familiarise with each other,” the source revealed.

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The decision to send Kenyan police officers to Haiti was made following a vote by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on October 2, 2023. Thirteen out of fifteen countries voted in favor of the mission, with no recorded votes against the resolution.

The UNSC is composed of 15 member countries, with the United States, United Kingdom, China, France, and Russia holding veto powers. However, both Russia and China abstained from the vote due to concerns about the blanket use of force to address the Haiti crisis under Chapter 7 of the founding U.N. Charter.

Haiti’s Foreign Minister, Jean Victor Geneus, expressed gratitude for the UNSC’s decision, describing it as a sign of solidarity with a population in distress and a glimmer of hope for a people who have long endured suffering.

Kenya is set to dispatch 1,000 police officers to Haiti in January 2024 to address the ongoing gang violence.

Nevertheless, the move has faced opposition from various stakeholders in both Kenya and Haiti, who argue that deploying troops to the region could exacerbate the situation.

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