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Court blocks Kenya from deploying police officers to Haiti to fight gangs

A Kenyan court temporarily blocked the government from deploying hundreds of police personnel in Haiti in a UN-approved mission aimed at helping the Caribbean nation tackle rampant gang violence.

The court order issued on Monday is valid until 24 October and followed a petition jointly filed by one of the opposition political parties and two Kenyans who say the decision to deploy the police officers outside the east African country is illegal.

According to a court document seen by Reuters, the order bars Kenyan government officials including the president and his interior minister “from deploying police officers to Haiti or any other country until 24th October 2023”.

In July, Kenya pledged to offer 1,000 police officers after Haiti appealed for international help with security personnel to assist in its battle against gangs blamed for spiraling violence. UN votes to send Kenyan-led security force to Haiti to combat gangs Read moreThe United Nations estimates some 200,000 Haitians have been displaced during escalating violence, with armed gangs carrying out indiscriminate killings, kidnappings, gang rapes and torching people’s homes.

According to the petitioners, the deployment of the police officers is “not only nonsensical and irrational but unconstitutional”.

The decision to deploy did not involve public participation and is also unconstitutional because only the Kenya military can be deployed outside the country, according to the petition.


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