Haiti gangs profit from mission delay


The continually delayed deployment of a Kenya-led Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission has raised concerns over how prepared the UN-approved and US-bankrolled force will be to face the security crisis in Haiti. An analysis from Insight Crime suggestsĀ the gangs have been using the extra time to “fortify what could be a fierce response.” A first contingent of about 200 Kenyan police officers was expected to land in the capital, Port-au-Prince, in late May, but its arrival was postponed after an advance delegation from Kenya identified a shortage of equipment and infrastructure. In an interview with the BBC, Kenyan President William Ruto said the deployment of 2,500 troops, including 1,000 Kenyan police officers, will now start mid-June.

But little is known on the rules of engagement and strategy to be put in place to fight thegangs, who control most of the capitalā€”even whether the force will directly engage with the armed groups alongside the Haitian National Police. In the meantime, the gangs have not let up, killing three missionariesĀ (including an American couple),Ā attacking more police stations, and trying to seize control of the Gressier commune in Port-au-Prince. They have also posted direct threats to the MSS force and paraded their heavy weaponry on social media. Amid reports of a large inventory of Colombian weaponsĀ being sold to Haitian gangs, some experts worry that the firepower of the gangs has been underestimated.

From The New Humanitarian, May 31

Photo: Haiti Liberte

  1. UN development specialist assumes Haiti prime minister role

    UN development specialist Garry Conille arrived June 1 in Port-au-PrinceĀ to take on his new role as Haiti’s prime minister.

    Conille has been serving as UNICEFĀ regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean since January 2023. In the wake of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, he was nominated as Haitiā€™s prime minister, and he held the position from October 2011 to May 2012. This year, the Transitional Presidential Council of Haiti voted 6-1 to install Conille as the new prime minister, replacing current interim prime minister Michel Patrick Boisvert.

    The role of prime minister has been taken by Boisvert since Ariel Henry’s resignation in March. On May 29, Edgard LeBlanc Fils, president of the Council, announced the decision to appoint Conille. The decision is welcomed by many, including the US, which expressed willingness to cooperate with Conille in implementing multinational security plans. (Jurist)

    Haiti’s transitional council on June 11 announced the formation of the new government, replacing all the members of former Prime Minister Ariel Henryā€™s cabinet. (Al Jazeera)

  2. First Kenyan police troops arrive in Haiti

    Hundreds of Kenyan police landed in Port-au-Prince June 27 to begin a long-delayed, UN-approved, US-bankrolled policing mission aimed at reining in gang violence and paving the way towards new elections by early 2026. (BBC News)