UNSC Authorizes Kenyan-Led Force for Haiti: Combating Gang Threat

03.10.2023 posted by Admin

UNSC Deploys Kenyan-Led Force to Tackle Haiti Gang Crisis

In a significant move, the United Nations Security Council voted on Monday to deploy a multinational armed force led by Kenya to Haiti, aimed at combating the rising threat posed by violent gangs. This marks the first instance in nearly two decades where such a force has been dispatched to the troubled Caribbean nation.

The resolution, which was jointly proposed by the United States and Ecuador, garnered 13 affirmative votes, with only China and the Russian Federation abstaining.

Under this resolution, the authorized mission is slated for a one-year deployment, subject to a review at the nine-month mark. Funding for this non-U.N. initiative will come from voluntary contributions, with the United States pledging up to $200 million.

The vote comes nearly a year after Haiti's prime minister urgently requested the immediate deployment of an armed force, primarily intended to quell the escalating gang violence and restore a sense of security, enabling Haiti to conduct long-overdue elections. Haiti's National Police force has struggled to combat these gangs, with just about 10,000 active officers in a nation of over 11 million people.

Haiti's Foreign Affairs Minister, Jean Victor Généus, emphasized the significance of the vote, portraying it as an act of solidarity with a suffering population, offering a glimmer of hope to those who have endured prolonged hardship.

While a specific deployment date remains uncertain, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has hinted at the possibility of a security mission to Haiti within a matter of months. Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Alfred Mutua has also suggested a potential deployment within two to three months or perhaps early January, highlighting that key officers are being trained in French.

Following the vote, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry expressed gratitude to the U.N. Security Council, the U.N.'s secretary-general, and the countries, including Kenya, that have committed to joining this force, symbolizing a call for liberation that could no longer be postponed.

The size of the force remains uncertain, with Kenya proposing 1,000 police officers. Additionally, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda have pledged to contribute personnel.

While the Russian Federation's U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, did not fundamentally object to the resolution, he cautioned against sending an armed force as an extreme measure that warrants careful consideration. China's U.N. ambassador, Zhang Jun, called for extensive consultations between mission leaders and Haitian officials, emphasizing the need for a legitimate, effective, and responsible government and a credible transition timetable.

Généus stressed that while the approval of the resolution is a vital step, it alone is insufficient. He emphasized the importance of addressing socioeconomic development to combat extreme poverty, a root cause of many of Haiti's challenges and a factor contributing to the recruitment of young people by gangs. Over 60 percent of Haiti's 11 million-plus population live on less than $2 a day, with poverty deepening due to inflation.

The deployment of an armed force is anticipated to restore peace and security in Haiti, paving the way for long-awaited general elections, a promise repeatedly made by Prime Minister Ariel Henry following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021.

The resolution passed on Monday includes provisions to prevent abuse and sexual exploitation by mission leaders and encourages the adoption of environmental controls to prevent water-borne diseases like cholera.

Brazil's Sérgio França, the president of the U.N. Security Council, emphasized that without a Haitian political solution based on free, transparent, and fair elections, no aid would ensure lasting success.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., assured reporters that the resolution incorporates robust accountability and vetting measures and expressed confidence in Kenya's ability to execute the mission, underlining a commitment to learn from past mistakes. U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan extended thanks to Kenya and other nations pledging to participate in the mission, recognizing the much-needed assistance it would provide to Haiti's population.
Comments are temporarily unavailable

Your comment