Editor's Review

"I believe that this is more of a cash grab by President Ruto whose country will receive a lot of money for doing this." 

Former US Special Envoy to Haiti Dan Foote has raised concern over Kenya’s plan to deploy 1000 police officers on a peace mission to Haiti.

Speaking in an interview with CNN, Foote claimed that Kenya’s move to lead the multinational security mission to the troubled Caribbean nation is not genuine but a cash grab by President William Ruto.

"You see the reticence on the part of the Kenyan public to send these guys and that makes me nervous. I believe that this is more of a cash grab by President Ruto whose country will receive a lot of money for doing this,” he claimed.

Foote noted that deploying a thousand officers to Haiti is not enough pointing out that at least 20,000 troops have been deployed to the nation during past interventions.

“A thousand isn't going to cut it and while they have commitments for double or triple that, that is still not going to cut it. Every time there has been a military intervention in Haiti in the past 20 years, it has had a minimum of 20,000 troops or police going in there,” the former US Special Envoy stated.

File Image of President William Ruto at State House.

He further warned that the Haitian gangs are well-armed and would fiercely battle with the Kenyan officers.

"The Haitians are well armed and if the international community imposes this Caricom government contract, they are going to fight the Kenyans to the death," Foote added.

Haiti plunged into a humanitarian crisis following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021.

In October 2023, the United Nations Security Council authorized a foreign security mission to Haiti led by Kenya to combat gang violence.

The High Court however blocked the deployment saying it was unconstitutional and Kenya lacked authority to deploy police officers outside the country.

Kenya and Haiti on March 1 signed an agreement formalising the deployment of 1,000 police officers to the North American nation.

The mission got a setback after the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

However, President Ruto on March 14 disclosed that Kenya's mission to Haiti was still on in a phone call with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

The Head of State noted that Kenya would take leadership of the UN Security Support Mission in Haiti to restore peace and security in Haiti.

"Had a telephone conversation with United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the developments in Haiti. He briefed me on the decision of the Summit of Caribbean Countries (Caricom) and the US, together with other partners, on the political situation in Haiti," Ruto stated.