President William Ruto on Haiti mission

Kenya's decision to deploy 1,000 law enforcement personnel on an enforcement deployment to unstable Haiti has drawn criticism from former U.S. Special Envoy for Haiti Dan Foote, who noted that the number of soldiers is insufficient to free the Caribbean island from ravaging gangs.


In a CNN interview, Foote noted that at least 20,000 soldiers have been sent to Port-au-Prince on each occasion that there have been attempts at military operations in Haiti, but none of these operations have been successful.


"Ten thousand won't prove to be enough, even if they have promised to pay twice or three times as much. At least 20,000 soldiers or police had entered Haiti for each of the last 20 military interventions," according to Foote.


Foote went on to draw attention to Kenyans' apparent unwillingness to support the expedition to Haiti.


"You observe the unwillingness on the part of the Kenyan population to send these guys, and that's what concerns me; it frightens me," he said.


The former ambassador also said that, rather than real peacekeeping operations, Kenya's drive to spearhead the security mission is mostly driven by monetary rewards from the UN Security Council.


"I assume that what's happening constitutes more of a cash grab by President Ruto, whose country will be getting a lot of funding in exchange for this," he said.


In an effort to encourage other countries to contribute similarly, the US administration first promised $100 million (Ksh. 13 billion) to help the multinational force headed by Kenya restore security to Haiti.


Foote went on to express concern that if the projected Caricom administration is implemented in the Caribbean country, the heavily armed Haitian gangs will fight back violently against Kenyan forces.


"The Haitians are extremely well-equipped, and should the rest of the world sanction these Caricom government agreements, they are going to confront the Kenyans until their deaths," he said.


A sharp increase in criminal activity by gangs has led to a humanitarian catastrophe that Haiti is presently dealing with.


This week, Kenya announced a postponement of the UN-backed multinational effort to deploy police to Haiti.


Speaking to AFP, Prime Minister Ariel Henry of Haiti decided to resign after armed gangs had gained control of a large portion of the Caribbean country. Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs Korir Sing'oei confirmed this decision.


According to Korir Sing'oei, senior secretary for international affairs, "it was an enormous shift in the situation as a consequence of the total collapse of law and order and afterwards the departure of the PM of Haiti," AFP said.


Nonetheless, Sing'oei said that Kenya was still dedicated to "delivering assistance to the MSS," a reference to the operation known as Multinational Security Support that was authorised by the United Nations Security Council in October of last year.


But President William Ruto is unwavering in his support of Kenya's government's decision to send a team to Haiti.


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