Kenya:Cabinet okays deployment of Kenya police to Haiti
This now gives nod for Parliament to debate and approve the plan pending determination of a court case.
National Police Service Japhet Koome confirmed the first group of police officers to be deployed to Haiti has kicked off a strenuous training in Kenya.
• The group of about 200 officers was sent to Nandi Hills where they kicked off the training on October 10.
The Cabinet on Friday ratified the deployment of the National Police Service to Haiti as sanctioned by the National Security Council.
This now gives further approval for a motion to be tabled in Parliament for discussion and approval of the plans.
This is likely to be done next week, officials said. The Cabinet met Friday at State House Nairobi and considered many other issues.
“As part of the Multinational Security Support Mission pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution, the Cabinet ratified the deployment of the National Police Service to Haiti as sanctioned by the National Security Council,” read part of a resolution of the meeting chaired by president William Ruto.
On Thursday, Interior and National Administration Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki appeared before the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Security on plans to deploy police to Haiti.
He was accompanied by Inspector General of the National Police Service Japhet Koome, Secretary National Administration Beverly Opwora.
Koome confirmed the first group of police officers to be deployed to Haiti has kicked off a strenuous training in Kenya.
The group of about 200 officers was sent to Nandi Hills where they kicked off the training on October 10.
Officials aware of the developments said the team will later move to Magadi, Isiolo, Kitui and later in Embakasi before being sent to the mission.
They are likely to be sent to Haiti by early in November, an official aware of the plans said.
“Depending on many factors including availability of needed resources, they will leave as soon as the end of this month,” said an official who asked not to be named.
Top commanders led by Deputy Inspector General of Administration Police Noor Gabow officiated the training in Nandi on Tuesday, witnesses said.
The first company of the personnel will undergo all-terrain training and get a debrief before leaving for their mission.
Sources said there is an urgent need to send the first team of commandos to Haiti to prepare the ground for the arrival of a larger group.
More than 1,000 officers will be picked from the Rapid Deployment Unit, Anti Stock Theft Unit, General Service Unit, and Border Patrol Unit to form a larger team for deployment with the exercise expected to happen soon.
These officers have paramilitary training and are likely to work well with other personnel from countries that have agreed to send theirs to Haiti for the same mission.
This came as top security officials met a group of diplomats in Nairobi to seek for the support for the Haiti mission.
Kenya plans to send more than 1,000 police officers to combat gangs in Haiti.
On Monday, National Security Advisor Monica Juma and foreign affairs Principal Secretary Korir Singoei met and briefed the Diplomatic Corps in Nairobi on UN Security Council Resolution 2699/2023 on Haiti.
Singoei said they sought the support of the international community in the implementation of the Resolution.
The meeting came hours before a Nairobi court Monday stopped on a temporary basis the planned deployment of police officers to Haiti.
Justice Chacha Mwita stopped Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki from deploying the police until a case filed by Thirdway Alliance.
“A conservatory order is hereby issued restraining the respondents from deploying police officers to Haiti or any other country until 24th October 2023,” read part of the order.
The Third Way Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot sued President William Ruto and his administration in a bid to block the peacekeeping mission that will see the deployment of at least 1,000 police officers to the gang-ridden nation.
Kindiki announced Parliament will ratify the planned deployment of the police.
National Police Service has already selected the personnel to be sent for the mission.
For instance each platoon officers from the General Service Unit nominated two police constables and a corporal.
Officers considered are aged between 20-55 years and have served in the service for a minimum of five years.
They do not have more than two convictions with the last one not less than six months.
Other than these, they should have a good proficiency in English, the ability to safely handle firearms and proven shooting skills.
Additionally, they must be mentally, physically and medically fit and capable of demonstrating clear command and control.
The unit is also expected to nominate 35 drivers and eight mechanics under the specialist category.
Other specialists required for the mission are signalers, chaplains and counselors and drone operators.
To qualify under this category, one must be aged between 20-40 years and served for at least two years in service.
Selected officers will converge at a camp for joint training ahead of the planned deployment in January.