The UN Security Council voted Oct. 2 to approve a multi-national armed force led by Kenya to combat the violent gangs that have made Haiti ungovernable—marking the first time in nearly 20 years that foreign forces are to be deployed to the Caribbean nation. The resolution authorizes the Multinational Security Support mission to deploy for one year, with a review after nine months. Drafted by the US and Ecuador, the resolution was approved with 13 votes in favor and two abstentions, from Russia and China. (AP, PRI, Jurist)
Kenya’s Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua told the BBC his country wants to go beyond tackling the gangs, helping to strengthen infrastructure and restore democracy in Haiti, where elections have been repeatedly postponed due to the violence. But many have voiced skepticism about deployment of the force, asking how it will work if Kenyan troops don’t speak French or Kreyol, and questioning the wisdom of sending personnel from a military criticized at home for human rights abuses.
Previous armed interventions—including UN peacekeeping missions—have also done little to improve things in Haiti, which has been hamstrung by factors such as the monumental debtFrance forced it to pay in exchange for independence. (TNH)
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