Kenya’s peacekeeping efforts gets accolades at United Nations General Assembly
United States President Joe Biden has praised President William Ruto for stepping up to lead peacekeeping efforts in Haiti.
President Biden said the United Nations-backed security mission seeks to restore peace and stability in Haiti.
“I call on the security council to authorise this mission now, the people of Haiti can not wait much longer,” he said.
He made the remarks during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in the presence of President Ruto.
The Situation in Haiti
Haiti is a Caribbean country that has been facing a series of political, economic, social, and humanitarian crises for decades. The country suffers from poverty, inequality, corruption, violence, insecurity, and natural disasters. The country has also been struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.
The situation in Haiti worsened on July 7, 2021, when President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated by a group of armed men who stormed his residence in Port-au-Prince. The assassination triggered a power vacuum and a constitutional crisis, as well as widespread protests and unrest. The assassination also raised concerns about the security and stability of the country and the region.
The United Nations (UN) has been involved in peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations in Haiti since 2004, when it established the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to help restore order and democracy after a violent uprising that ousted former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. MINUSTAH was replaced by the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) in 2017, which focused on strengthening the rule of law and human rights institutions. MINUJUSTH was replaced by the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) in 2019, which focused on supporting political dialogue and good governance.
The Role of Kenya in Peacekeeping in Haiti
Kenya is one of the largest contributors of troops and police to UN peacekeeping operations around the world. Kenya has participated in peacekeeping missions in countries such as Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Mali, and Cyprus. Kenya has also played a leading role in regional and continental efforts to promote peace and security in Africa.
In August 2023, Kenya offered to lead a new UN-backed security mission in Haiti to help stabilize the country and protect civilians. Kenya proposed to deploy 2,000 troops and 500 police officers to Haiti under the command of Major General James Mwakibolwa. Kenya also pledged to provide humanitarian assistance and development support to Haiti.
President Ruto said that Kenya’s decision to lead the peacekeeping mission in Haiti was motivated by its commitment to uphold the principles of multilateralism, solidarity, and human dignity. He also said that Kenya’s experience and expertise in peacekeeping would be valuable for the success of the mission.
The Reaction of the United States to Kenya’s Peacekeeping Efforts
The United States is one of the main allies and partners of Kenya and Haiti. The United States has been supporting both countries in various areas such as security, development, health, education, trade, and democracy. The United States has also been advocating for a peaceful and democratic transition in Haiti after the assassination of President Moïse.
President Biden expressed his appreciation and admiration for President Ruto’s leadership and initiative to lead the peacekeeping mission in Haiti. He said that Kenya’s peacekeeping efforts were commendable and exemplary for the international community. He also said that the United States would support Kenya’s mission in Haiti with financial, logistical, and diplomatic assistance.
President Biden also called on the UN Security Council to authorize the peacekeeping mission in Haiti as soon as possible. He said that the people of Haiti could not wait much longer for peace and stability. He also urged all parties in Haiti to cooperate with the peacekeepers and to engage in constructive dialogue and reconciliation.
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