Kenya Leads International Support Mission Against Gang Violence in Haiti
A Global Coalition in the Making
In the face of escalating gang violence in Haiti, a country in the grip of lawlessness and terror, several nations have pledged their support for a security mission. The United States, while not providing ground personnel, has committed to significant logistical backing. Although the countries expressing interest in contributing to the mission remain unnamed, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda have confirmed their participation. Leading the mission is Kenya, offering a force of 1,000 members to help restore peace to Haiti.
Addressing the Crisis in Haiti
According to the United Nations, gang violence, which now controls a large portion of Haiti’s capital, has led to over 2,400 deaths since the year began. The proposed international support mission, stated U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is not an alternative to political progress but a necessary measure to restore order and stability. The meeting discussing the mission saw representatives from Kenya, France, Ecuador, Canada, and various Caribbean nations participating.
Securing Funds and Authorization
The Biden administration has announced its intention to request a fund of $100 million from Congress to aid the force. This force is expected to have a significant police component, along with military support for the struggling Haitian police force. However, before it can be established, the non-UN force requires approval from the UN Security Council. The U.S. and Ecuador have sponsored a resolution project, expected to be finalized at the UN next week. U.S. President Joe Biden has urged the Security Council to authorize the shipment of a multinational force to assist Haitian police in combating gang violence, stating, “the people of Haiti cannot wait any longer”.
Waiting for a Leader
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who has been advocating for such a force for nearly a year, is expected to address the General Assembly. However, finding a volunteer to lead the non-UN police force has proven challenging among an international community wary of past experiences and risks of becoming embroiled in a deadly quagmire.
Sanctions and Aid
In a further development, the U.S. has announced new sanctions targeting former and current Haitian officials involved in illicit arms or drug trafficking. While these individuals have not been named, the message is clear: the international community is ready to confront the crisis in Haiti head-on. With significant logistical support from the U.S. and a security force led by Kenya, the fight against gang violence in Haiti is set to intensify.
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