Kenya court approves suit opposing Haiti deployment


The Kenya High Court on May 17 ordered that a lawsuit seeking to prevent the deployment of police troops to Haiti be served on top government officials. Leaders of the civil organization Thirdway Alliance Kenya, Dr. Ekuru Aukot and Miruru Waweru, filed the complaint to block the deployment, which is part of a UN-backed mission to assist Haiti’s battle against gang violence. The plaintiffs argued that the government’s agreement with Haiti to deploy the troops is in contempt of a January court order that deemed the deployment unconstitutional. The plaintiffs emphasized the urgency of the matter, noting that the deployment is scheduled to begin this month.

Kenya’s parliament approved the deployment of 10,000 officers to Haiti in November. However, the High Court in Nairobi declared the decision unconstitutional, stating that Kenya could only send officers to Haiti if both countries had a reciprocal agreement under sections 107 and 108 of the National Police Service Act.

In March, Kenya and Haiti signed a security deal to deploy 1,000 Kenyan officers to Haiti. This move faced opposition from key political figures. Operations seemed to pause in March due to the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, but Kenyan president William Ruto confirmed that Kenya would still lead the UN Security Support Mission in Haiti as promised.

Haiti has been grappling with organized gang violence and the aftermath of President Jovenel Moise’s assassination in 2021. The escalating violence prompted a state of emergency and international calls for intervention, including from the UN High Commissioner, to prevent further chaos.

From Jurist, May 18. Used with permission.

Photo: Amnesty Kenya via PolicingInsight