Court blocks sending Kenyan police to Haiti

The Kenyan High Court has temporarily blocked the deployment of Kenyan police to Haiti or any other country pending the hearing of a petition filed by the Thirdway Alliance Kenya and two other groups. 

The petitioners argue that the constitution does not envisage the deployment of the police service outside Kenya, adding that deployment of police officers or the forces outside Kenya is a matter of great public interest and importance and can only be done in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. 

Last Monday, the United Nations Security Council approved a yearlong multinational security mission for Haiti, led by Kenya. A dozen other countries, including Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, have said they would join the mission. 

The United Nations Security Council has approved the deployment of an armed multinational force to Haiti to fight gangs that have forced 200,000 people to flee their homes to avoid being raped or murdered.

The decision follows repeated calls for military assistance by Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

and the United States has also strongly urged the international community to back such a mission.

Thirteen council members voted in favor of the resolution, with Russia and China abstaining. 

China’s UN ambassador Zhang Jun said his country had “a cautious and responsible approach†toward authorizing the use of force – but that in the case of Haiti, China’s abstention represented a “constructive position†toward the resolution.

Russia’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia criticized the move in remarks to the council, saying “that sending the armed forces of another state to any country even upon its request is an extreme measure that must be thoroughly thought through,†but noted “some positive elements†to the approved resolution.

Both Russia and China expressed approval of the resolution’s arms embargo.

The multinational force is expected to be led by Kenya, which has pledged 1,000 policemen to spearhead the mission. Several of Haiti’s Caribbean neighbors – Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas and Jamaica

– have also supported the mission. 

The UN voted to approve deployment on October 3.