Kenyan delegation probes solutions to Haiti’s gang crisis

August 23, 2023   -A delegation from Kenya has arrived in Haiti to evaluate the best methods to combat the ongoing issue of gang violence in the Caribbean country.

The visit follows Nairobi’s proposal to command a multinational force for this task.

Assisting an overwhelmed police force

Reports are that Haiti’s police force is severely understaffed and under-resourced, with a mere 10,000 officers serving a population of over 11 million.

Kenya’s involvement aims to fill this critical gap.

A multinational effort under Kenya’s leadership

The United States earlier this month expressed support, announcing plans to propose a United Nations Security Council resolution.

This resolution would authorize Kenya to spearhead a multinational police force, contributing 1,000 officers. However, the exact timeline for the resolution remains unclear.

Residents evacuate Haiti
Residents evacuate the Carrefour Feuilles commune in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on August 15, 2023, as gang violence continues to plague the Haitian capital. (Photo by Richard PIERRIN / AFP)
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Collaborative talks and initial meetings

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Reports are that the Kenyan delegation, comprised of 10 members, held its inaugural meeting with Haitian officials on Monday.

It is further reported that before arriving in Haiti, the Kenyan delegation met with various countries and groups in New York to align on how best to assist the country.

A grim reality: Uncontrolled violence

From January 1 until August 15,  more than 2,400 individuals were killed with over 950 kidnappings and another 902 injuries reported, according to U.N. statistics.

Gangs now hold sway over an alarming 80 per cent of Port-au-Prince, resulting in over 200,000 displaced persons.

International understanding of Haitian needs

The Kenyan officials asserted that the countries they met with recognize the severity of Haiti’s situation and the pressing necessity to alleviate conditions that threaten the nation’s future and daily operations.

Kenya’s fact-finding mission in Haiti concludes on Wednesday.

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