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Kenya pauses deployment of police to Haiti, here's why

This new development comes just a day after Interior CS Kithure Kindiki said the government was on course to deploy troops to Haiti.

Haiti PM Ariel Henry with President William Ruto at State House, Nairobi

Foreign Affairs PS Korir Sing’oei has confirmed that the government has been forced to delay the deployment of police officers to troubled Haiti.

This comes after the surprise resignation of Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry on March 12.

PM Henry’s resignation has thrown a spanner in the works because as it stands, there is no government for the the deployed troops to work with.

“There has been a fundamental change in the circumstances as a result of the resignation of the PM. Without a political administration in Haiti, there is no anchor on which a police deployment can rest, hence the government of Kenya will await the installation of a new constitutional authority in Haiti, before taking further decisions on the matter. Kenya reiterates commitment to providing leadership to the multinational security support,” the PS said in an interview with BBC.

The Haiti Prime Minister’s resignation came after mounting pressure from neighbouring states and the U.S. who wanted Henry to facilitate the creation of an interim government to midwife the next elections.

Gangs in the Caribbean country also gave the prime minister an ultimatum to resign, paving the way for the control of the capital by rebels.

This new development comes just a day after Interior CS Kithure Kindiki said the government was on course to deploy troops to Haiti.

Addressing the media on Monday, CS Kindiki emphasized that the deployment process is progressing smoothly, with all necessary arrangements already in place.

“We are now in the pre-deployment stage. All the other programs are in place including the status of forces agreement and the laws on detention, arrests, and other enforcement measures are now in place. The standard operation procedures are in place," CS Kindiki said.

The Cabinet Secretary also poured water on reports that some officers had withdrawn from being deployed over escalating chaos.

“Kenya is the lead nation, but there are so many other countries that have pledged to contribute troops, and this came from the mandate of the United Nations Security Council, so it's part of our international obligations.

“The court matter has been addressed, and that other rumour you are talking about, I think tell the source of that rumour to return it wherever it came from," he added.

In recent days, European Union countries and the United States of America evacuated their diplomats by helicopter under cover of darkness.

On Tuesday, Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry resigned after rebels took over the capital, making it difficult for the PM to enter the country.

On Saturday, the U.S. reiterated its commitment to supporting the international intervention in Haiti.

In a conversation with President William Ruto on Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken thanked Kenya’s move to lead the security team tasked with creating the security conditions necessary to conduct free and fair elections.

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