A full-dress standardization parade in preparation for the graduating 1,200 police officers who fully joined the Kenya Police Service, on December 13, 2019. Photo credit Kenya Police Service


The deployment of Kenyan police officers to help the Haitian National Police combat gangs in Haiti is still pending deliberations by the Kenyan High Court of Justice.

PORT-AU-PRINCE—The deployment of a multinational force to help the Haitian National Police (PNH) combat gangs in Haiti remains pending after Kenya’s High Court of Justice yet again postponed a hearing, according to the chief petitioner, to possibly lift a hold on its police officers participating in the mission. 

“Our case has been taken up on the 16th at 11:30 a.m., the Judge is not sitting this Thursday,” Ekuru Aukot, the complainant, told The Haitian Times over text messages about the hearing change of date. “Our requests are extended until the full hearing of the case.”

The postponement from today to Nov. 16 has left some Kenyan politicians, who had filed an anti-deployment petition in October citing constitutional law, feeling optimistic. They see a strong probability of winning the legal battle against Kenyan President William Ruto, who had championed the United Nations-approved Multinational Security Support Mission (MSS).

Aukot, leader of Kenya’s Third Way Alliance political party, said he does not intend to back down from the legal petition he filed. The complaint argues that Kenya’s constitution restricts police officers to operating within the country’s borders and that the Haitian government has not made a formal request to Kenya for assistance.

A former presidential candidate, who is among other Kenyan government leaders legally challenging the Kenyan police’s participation, considers Ruto’s decision illegal. Aukot has also raised questions about Kenya’s engagement with Haiti, particularly as the Haitian government currently lacks legitimacy in his view. Via X, he has further criticized Ruto for failing to learn from past international interventions in Haiti.

Aukot says although the judge’s decision may take some time after the hearing, he knows they have a strong case. 

“I am confident we will win,” Aukot said. “The world will be watching.”

The United Nations Security Council approved the MSS to Haiti on Oct. 2, after one year of consideration and a month-long discussion about its process. A deployment date was not announced.

Days later, Aukot and others filed the petition in Kenya,  thrusting the approval into at least a standstill, if not outright jeopardy. Kenya’s top court set a hearing for Oct. 24 to hear the opposition’s arguments and set a hold on deployment while considering the motion. The hearing was postponed until Nov. 9, and now by another week.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s Council of Ministers granted authorization on Oct. 13 to deploy 1,000 police officers to Haiti, and the recruitment process has begun. 

No other details about this process are available yet.

I am Juhakenson Blaise, a journalist based in the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I cover the news that develops in this city and deals with other subjects related to the experience of Haitians for the Haitian Times newspaper. I am also a lover of poetry.

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