Court halts Parliament's Haiti troop deployment
Publish date: 27 November 2023
Issue Number: 1055
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The Kenyan Parliament last week approved the deployment of 1 000 police officers to Haiti to help deal with rising gang violence in the Caribbean nation – but later on the same day, the High Court upheld its stay on the process. Kenya's High Court, which already blocked the move once before in October, extended orders blocking government plans to send the police officers to Haiti at the head of an international peacekeeping mission. RFI reports that the case was brought by former presidential candidate and lawyer Ekuru Aukot, who called the UN-backed deployment ‘a mistake and a suicide mission’. High Court judge Chacha Mwita said he would issue another ruling on 26 January, effectively delaying the mission. The decision came hours after Kenya's National Assembly approved the government's request to send the police officers to Haiti. But the motion was hotly debated, with opposition lawmakers questioning who would fund the deployment and what justifications there were for sending security forces to Haiti. Gabriel Tongoya, who chairs the Parliament’s Committee on Administration & Internal Security, said all costs of the deployment would be funded by the UN. Burundi, Chad, Senegal, Jamaica and Belize have all pledged troops for the multinational mission. Violence continues to escalate in Haiti, where on Wednesday a heavily armed gang surrounded a hospital in the capital Port-au-Prince. Police later rescued the patients, who included 40 children and newborns. Gangs across Haiti have continued to grow more powerful since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021, and the number of kidnappings and killings keeps rising.