International Kenyan police force arrives in Haiti for UN-backed security mission

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The first wave of Kenyan police disembarked a plane at the Port-au-Prince airport in Haiti on Tuesday as part of a security mission backed – but not managed – by the UN to help restore order to the violence-wracked nation.

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Kenyan police arrived in violence-ravaged Haiti on Tuesday on a long-awaited mission to help wrest the Caribbean nation from powerful gangs, just as deadly turmoil gripped Nairobi during mass protests.

Wearing camouflage uniforms, helmets and rifles, about 200 officers descended from a Kenya Airways plane on the tarmac in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. More are expected Thursday.

A total of some 2,500 personnel are anticipated, led by Kenya with contributions from a number of countries, mostly in Africa and the Caribbean, on a mission blessed but not managed by the United Nations.

US President Joe Biden, who has promised generous funding for the mission but ruled out sending American troops, hailed the arrival of the Kenyans as "beginning an effort that will bring much needed relief to Haitians."

"The people of Haiti deserve to feel safe in their homes, build better lives for their families and enjoy democratic freedoms," Biden said in a statement.

Kenyan President William Ruto had ceremonially seen the police off Monday in Nairobi, in what he described as a "historic" mission of solidarity.

But Kenya itself became engulfed in violence a day afterward, with protesters breaching parliament and a fire erupting at the governor's office.

Renewing the questions raised by rights groups on how Kenyan forces will handle Haiti's unrest, NGOs said that police fired live rounds in Nairobi, leaving at least five dead and dozens wounded.

The violence quickly escalated from protests, mostly led by young people, triggered by tax hikes proposed by the cash-strapped government.

Ruto had gone ahead with the Haiti mission despite a court case from a small opposition party which accused him of doing the bidding of the United States.

The multinational force, approved last year by the UN Security Council, had already been on hold for months after a Kenyan court asked the government to secure a bilateral government with Haiti.

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Hopes for stability​

Garry Conille, the acting prime minister in a new Haitian transitional government, hailed the deployment of the Kenyan force.

"I salute the determination of the Haitian people to stand with Haiti in its fight against the insecurity that has gnawed at society," he wrote Monday on X.

"The Haitian government and people hope that this multinational mission is the final one that helps bring stability," he said, and "a return to effective democracy."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also welcomed the deployment, while calling on the international community to underwrite the costs of the mission.

"He appeals to all member states to ensure that the mission receives the financial support he needs to successfully implement its mandate," Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a briefing Tuesday.

Washington has pledged up to $360 million for the mission but rejected sending US troops to Haiti, which has a long history of US intervention.

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Biden ended America's longest war in Afghanistan and is seeking for reelection boasting that, for the first time in more than two decades, US troops are not in combat.

The US president welcomed Ruto for a rare state visit to Washington last month in which he hailed Kenya as a key US partner on democracy and security, praising its efforts in Haiti and also other hotspots including neighboring Somalia.

Other countries that have expressed willingness to join the mission include Benin, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados and Chad.

Haiti has long been rocked by gang violence but conditions sharply worsened at the end of February when armed groups launched coordinated attacks in Port-au-Prince, saying they wanted to overthrow then-prime minister Ariel Henry.

Henry announced in early March that he would step down and hand over executive power to a transitional council, which named Conille as the country's interim prime minister on May 29.
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The violence in Port-au-Prince has affected food security and humanitarian aid access, with much of the city in the hands of gangs accused of abuses including murder, rape, looting and kidnappings.

Crowded streets all cleared away
One by one
Hollow heroes separate
As they run


You're so cold
Keep your hand in mine
Wise men wonder while
Strong men die

Show me how it ends, it's alright
Show me how defenseless you really are
Satisfied and empty inside
That's alright, let's give this another try
If you find your family

Don't you cry
In this land of make believe
Dead and dry

You're so cold

But you feel alive
Lay your hands on me
One last time



https://www.france24.com/en/america...orce-arrives-haiti-un-backed-security-mission
 
Kenyan police is strange but ok.... UN supported efforts should take in countries with means and be broader imo....
 
Kenyan police is strange but ok.... UN supported efforts should take in countries with means and be broader imo....
- I hope something positive comes from this.
 
They travel halfway around the world becuase the UN supports them to intervene in Haiti. Do Haiti gangs respect them?
 
These are paramilitary police units that are used to crack down on demonstrations and terrorism. They have a history of human rights violation. 30-50 percent of the armed gangs are children. I am assuming these folks have no qualms with executing children.

All these interventions come at a price. Previous UN efforts had soldiers who were diddling little children in exchange for money or cookies.
 
These are paramilitary police units that are used to crack down on demonstrations and terrorism. They have a history of human rights violation. 30-50 percent of the armed gangs are children. I am assuming these folks have no qualms with executing children.

All these interventions come at a price. Previous UN efforts had soldiers who were diddling little children in exchange for money or cookies.

Kenyan police open fire on protesters as crowd tries to storm parliament​

At least five people reportedly shot dead at rally against legislation to raise taxes during cost of living crisis


Kenyan police open fire on protesters as crowd tries to storm parliament​

At least five people reportedly shot dead at rally against legislation to raise taxes during cost of living crisis

Carlos Mureithi and Caroline Kimeu in Nairobi, and agencies
Tue 25 Jun 2024 18.21 BST
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Police have opened fire on protesters outside the Kenyan parliament as they attempted to storm the building in Nairobi while MPs inside passed legislation to raise taxes.

At least five people were shot dead, according to Reuters, amid chaotic scenes in which police started shooting after teargas and water cannon failed to disperse a crowd of thousands who had overwhelmed officers. Flames could be seen coming from inside the building.

A paramedic said at least 10 people had died and a Reuters journalist outside the parliament counted the bodies of at least five protesters.

“We want to shut down parliament and every MP should go down and resign,” one protester, Davis Tafari, told the news agency. “We will have a new government.”

The demonstrators oppose tax rises in a country reeling from a cost of living crisis, and many are also calling for President William Ruto to step down.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/a...d-protesters-as-crowd-try-to-storm-parliament
 

Haitians wary as Kenyan police arrive on latest US-backed mission​

First contingent of multinational team lands in operation to end chaos in gang-controlled country

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Kenyan police arriving at the airport at Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, the latest in a long history of foreign interventions. Photograph: Marckinson Pierre/AP

Hundreds of Kenyan police officers have arrived in Haiti as part of a US-backed security intervention aiming to rescue the Caribbean country from a criminal insurrection that toppled the prime minister and brought death and chaos to the streets.

About 400 members of the Kenya-led multinational police operation stepped off a Kenyan Airways plane at Port-au-Prince’s international airport on Tuesday. The US president, Joe Biden, hailed their arrival as the start of “an effort that will bring much-needed relief to Haitians”.

“Rampant gang violence has killed or harmed thousands of children, women, and men. Over half a million people have been displaced … The people of Haiti deserve to feel safe in their homes, build better lives for their families and enjoy democratic freedoms,” Biden said in a statement.

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It is not clear what the officers’ first task will be but their objective is to steer Haiti out of a security crisis that has been intensifying since the president, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated in 2021. Kenyan news reports suggest they will be responsible for defending key infrastructure including the airport, the port, the presidential palace, and the gang-controlled highways connecting the besieged capital with the rest of Haiti.

Biden said the eventual 2,500-strong force would also count on personnel and financial support from Benin, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Belize, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Algeria, Canada, France, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, the UK and Spain.

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In recent months, Haiti’s crisis has reached new extremes, even for a country that has suffered devastating natural disasters such as the 2010 earthquake, and centuries of foreign exploitation and dictatorial rule. The UN says more than 2,500 people have been killed or wounded this year as increasingly powerful gangs launched a coordinated uprising that paralysed the capital and forced the prime minister, Ariel Henry, to resign.

Henry’s replacement, a former Unicef official, Garry Conille, was appointed earlier in June and is tasked with leading the country towards its first elections since 2016.

The international mission will be led by Noor Gabow, a senior Kenyan officer who studied criminology at Bramshill police college in the UK and has experience in peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone and Rwanda.

There were mixed feelings in Port-au-Prince as rifle-carrying Kenyans in combat gear touched down in a passenger jet emblazoned with the slogan The Pride of Africa.

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Many Haitians resent relentless foreign meddling in their affairs, particularly after the 2004-2017 UN stabilisation force, Minustah, was accused of human rights violations, sexual abuse and causing a devastating cholera outbreak.

“The last UN mission ended disastrously,” said Isaïe Delson, 33, a barber forced to abandon his business in downtown Port-au-Prince by this year’s bloodshed. “Will [the Kenyan force] create more injustices?”.

Delson believed the mere announcement of the deployment had already had some effect, with shootings decreasing in recent days. “Some schools have reopened around here, too,” he added.

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President William Ruto of Kenya greets a contingent of Kenyan police officers bound for Haiti in Nairobi on 24 June. Photograph: Rebecca Nduku/Presidential Communication Service/EPA

But he felt conflicted about seeing foreign boots on the ground, even if they had come to fight the gangsters who had destroyed his business. “[The gangsters] are also Haitians like me. I’m torn,” he said.

Evelyne Jean, 56, a vendor also displaced by the insurrection and who now sleeps in a temporary camp, was more optimistic. “Oh Jesus Lord! They’re here!” she exclaimed, looking up at the sky, as the Kenyan forces landed. “For me, they should have been here ages ago.”

The 2024 mission will be the fourth large-scale foreign intervention in Haiti since the US president Woodrow Wilson sent marines there after the assassination of the president Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam in 1915. The next big intervention, Operation Uphold Democracy, was in 1994, when the US president Bill Clinton ordered troops to return Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the presidency after a military coup.

Clinton claimed that marked “the beginning of a new era of hope for the people of Haiti”. Three decades later, politicians in Nairobi and Washington are using more cautious words.

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Kenya’s president, William Ruto, told officers they would “bring hope and relief to communities torn apart by violence and ravaged by disorder”.

Biden said Haitians deserved “what people everywhere deserve: security, opportunity, and freedom”. He acknowledged “these goals may not be accomplished overnight” but said the current US-backed mission provided “the best chance of achieving them”.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/a...yan-police-arrive-on-latest-us-backed-mission
 
Not sure what to say if this news is true.



The Kenyans have to go in Haiti while their country are also fighting protests seem they can't handle.
 
Not sure what to say if this news is true.



The Kenyans have to go in Haiti while their country are also fighting protests seem they can't handle.

- This mission was set months ago. And they could handle those protesters. Kenya has a story of police abuse!
 

Biden administration extends temporary legal status to 300,000 Haitians, drawing a contrast to Trump​


SAN DIEGO (AP) — About 300,000 Haitians already in the United States will now be eligible for temporary legal status allowing them to remain in the U.S. and work because conditions in the strife-torn Caribbean nation are considered unsafe for them to return, the Homeland Security Department said Friday.

The decision marks a major expansion of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians and won praise from many in the Haitian and immigration advocacy community.

The TPS designation was created by Congress in 1990 to prevent deportations to countries suffering natural disasters or civil strife. The Homeland Security secretary can grant temporary protection for different nationalities based on conditions in their home countries. It’s generally for a designated period, and people have to apply for the protection and prove they qualify for it. The protection also allows them to apply for a work permit.

This expansion will apply to Haitians who were in the United States on June 3 and will last until Feb. 3, 2026. Anyone arriving after June 3 would not qualify. Separately, Mayorkas also extended the Temporary Protected Status of an estimated 200,000 Haitians who already had it. Their extension will also last through Feb. 3, 2026.

The move — one of the largest expansions of TPS — draws another sharp policy contrast on immigration between President Joe Biden and his predecessor, Donald Trump, who sought to end temporary status for many countries, including Haiti, during his tenure in the White House.

Gangs have pillaged their way through the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas, killing, raping and kidnapping thousands of people in recent years and leaving hundreds of thousands of others homeless and unemployed, which in turn has deepened poverty.

“Several regions in Haiti continue to face violence or insecurity, and many have limited access to safety, health care, food, and water,” Homeland Security said in a press release. “Haiti is particularly prone to flooding and mudslides, and often experiences significant damage due to storms, flooding, and earthquakes. These overlapping humanitarian challenges have resulted in ongoing urgent humanitarian needs.”

About 200,000 Haitians already have TPS under previous offers, according to the Congressional Research Service, the first one after a devastating earthquake in 2010 and the second amid political turmoil in 2021.

One of those people is Fanor Massolas. He’s originally from a town in southern Haiti. He qualified for the temporary protection granted in 2010. With it, he’s able to work at the Los Angeles airport where he has a job with a contractor. He said it’s always stressful wondering whether the protection will be renewed but it’s better than not having any protection at all. Going back to Haiti is not an option, Massolas said.

Massolas said he considers the U.S. his home even though he doesn’t have citizenship. This is where he lives, where he works, where he’s been able to go to school and learn English.

“Every human being, first thing they need is safety wherever they are. I’m in a safe county,” Massolas said. Speaking of Haiti he said: “Nobody is safe over there.”

With the expansion announced Friday, Homeland Security estimated that an additional 309,000 Haitians will be eligible for the protected status.

Nearly 900,000 people from 16 countries are currently registered for TPS, with the largest nationalities hailing from Haiti, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras and Ukraine.

The TPS designation gives people legal authority to be in the country and the right to work but it doesn’t provide them a long-term path to citizenship. And they are reliant on the government renewing the status when it expires, giving them little stability. Conservative critics have also said that over time the renewal of the protection status becomes automatic, regardless of what happens to country conditions.

Haiti has been a thorny challenge for an administration that has sought to discourage illegal crossings, most recently by temporarily suspending asylum processing for people who cross the border illegally. The administration said this week that arrests for illegal crossings have fallen more than 40% since asylum was halted.

In 2021, about 16,000 predominantly Haitian migrants assembled on the banks of the Rio Grande in the small Texas town of Del Rio, triggering large-scale deportations. Then border arrests of Haitians fell sharply, even before January 2023, when the administration introduced an online app, called CBP One, which is needed to enter the country legally at land crossings with Mexico, and began allowing up to 30,000 people a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to fly to the country for two years if they have financial sponsors.

Haitians were arrested only 142 times for crossing the border illegally from Mexico in May, down from a peak of nearly 18,000 in September 2021, but some take the dangerous route by sea. On Wednesday, a group of more than 100 Haitians arrived in a sailboat off the lower Florida Keys.

The Haitian Bridge Alliance, like other advocacy groups, applauded the administration for “a crucial move,” while also urging it to halt deportations to Haiti.

But Homeland Security signaled that deportations would continue for those who try entering illegally, saying it “will continue to enforce U.S. laws and policy throughout the Florida Straits and the Caribbean region, as well as at the southwest border.”

https://apnews.com/article/temporar...itians-biden-e92b8de782d2c1218dd1be1899aa926d
 
how many of those 300k have been vetted and we're sure aren't criminals coming from haiti ? I don't know why the U.S. has to accept everyone who decides they wanna come here
 
how many of those 300k have been vetted and we're sure aren't criminals coming from haiti ? I don't know why the U.S. has to accept everyone who decides they wanna come here
- I dont know the answer!
 

Haiti’s prime minister says Kenyan police are crucial to controlling gangs, early days are positive​


BY JADE LOZADA
Updated 1:07 AM BRT, July 4, 2024

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that recently deployed Kenyan police will be crucial to helping control the country’s gangs and moving toward democratic elections — and he called feedback from their initial days in the capital “extremely, extremely positive.”

He said his government will focus on addressing gang violence and food insecurity, ensuring free elections through constitutional and political reform, and rebuilding public trust in the police.

On June 25, the initial contingent of 200 Kenyan police arrived in Port-au-Prince. Kenya has pledged 1,000 police to the international police force and Conille said the next contingent will be arriving “very soon.” They will later be joined by police from the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Chad and Jamaica in the force that will total 2,500 personnel.

Haiti asked for an international force to combat gangs in 2022, and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres appealed for months for a country to lead the force before the Kenyans came forward.

The gangs have grown in power since the July 7, 2021, assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and are now estimated to control up to 80% of the capital. The surge in killings, rapes and kidnappings has led to a violent uprising by civilian vigilante groups.

Conille, a former U.N. development specialist, took up his post as prime minister last month after being voted in by a transitional council.



With the help of the international police force, Conille is tasked with stabilizing the country in preparation for democratic elections in February 2026.

“More than ever Haiti must mobilize all the necessary and available resources to make this transition the last one, a transition that could set it on the path toward peace, security and sustainable development,” Conille told the council.

He said Haiti intends to “redefine our approaches” to build “strong and effective institutions” by the time the police leave Haiti.

Since its arrival, the Kenyan police contingent has held “operational meetings” with the national police and started “joint operations” for the mission, Kenya’s U.N. Ambassador Njambi Kinyungu said.

In February, gangs launched coordinated attacks on government infrastructure, including roads, prisons, and the Port-au-Prince airport, eventually leading Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign in April.

The violence has resulted in the displacement of 580,000 people, more than half of whom are children, according to the U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF. The World Food Program reports that more than 4 million Haitians face food insecurity.

Conille called the country’s history of foreign intervention a “mixed bag” that has included human rights abuses and a “lack of respect for sovereignty and local culture.”

“Haiti must escape the spiral of security missions once and for all,” the prime minister said.

Conille said the international police force will require “close coordination and constant communication between all the parties involved to ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated.”

U.N. Special Representative for Haiti María Isabel Salvador urged the international community to contribute to the fund financing the police operation.

Kenya’s Kinyungu and Foreign Minister Roberto Álvarez Gil of the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, also called for countries that have made pledges to the fund to deposit the money. Álvarez Gil said this should be done “as soon as possible.”

The United States pledged $309 million to the police mission, the largest contribution of any country. Kinyungu said Kenya is “working closely with the United States” to distribute supplies in Haiti, but the U.S. funding has not yet arrived.

At the council meeting, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia criticized the U.S. for failing to prevent arms smuggling to Haiti’s gangs.

“We do not see the current embargo doing anything to prevent the flow of arms from the U.S.,” Nebenzia said. “If it wished to do so, Washington could have long tackled this problem.”

Earlier, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that the United States is “concerned about the illicit flow of arms into Haiti” and is “actively working to enforce the arms embargo.”

https://apnews.com/article/un-haiti...gs-elections-141e05d7b361eae9521acdb5a731ce14
 
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