NAIROBI, Kenya (CMC) — Kenya’s plans to lead a multinational international force to Haiti to restore peace and security on the French-speaking Caribbean Community (Caricom) country suffered another setback on Tuesday after the High Court extended a temporary order barring the Government from deploying hundreds of police officers to Haiti.
The United Nations Security Council had approved a resolution, drafted by the United States and Ecuador, authorising the force to be deployed for one year, with a review after nine months.
Kenya’s National Assembly has yet to schedule a debate on the motion to deploy the contingent, which is expected to be made up of about 1,000 police officers. Several Caribbean Community countries have already indicated a willingness to participate in the initiative.
But the plan was temporarily put on hold by a court order issued after a petition was brought by former presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot, who in his October 9 petition had argued against the deployment of Kenyan forces on the basis that the law allowing the president to do so conflicted with articles of the constitution.
The Kenyan Government has said it will seek Parliament’s approval before the officers are deployed.
“The court has extended the interim orders stopping the deployment of Kenya police to Haiti until the petition is determined,” said Aukot. The original order expired on Tuesday.
Aukot said the case will continue on November 9.
On Monday, the United Nations Special Representative in Haiti, María Isabel Salvador, told the Security Council that the security situation continues to deteriorate in Haiti as gang violence grows, and elections are crucial for the sustainable rule of law.
“Elections are the only path and the only imperative to restore democratic institutions in Haiti. Only democracy and the rule of law can form the basis from which Haiti can progress towards development and growth,” she said.
The rampant gang violence, mainly affecting the capital, Port-au-Prince, is another shock to Haiti, where nearly half the population needs humanitarian aid. In recent years, the French-speaking Caribbean country has been hit by a cholera epidemic, earthquakes and cyclones, as well as the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021.