President Ruto: We will not fail the people of Haiti

President William Ruto has affirmed that the Kenya police are up to the task of restoring order in the gangs-controlled Haiti nation.

In a statement on Tuesday, Ruto cited the country’s past successful United National Peace Missions as a demonstration of the capacity and capability of Kenyan forces.

The president said the country’s Haiti-led mission will be a game changer in international peace-keeping missions in the Caribbean country.

“We express our determination that this mission will provide a different footprint in the history of international interventions in Haiti,” the president said.

The President said Kenya’s mission in Haiti is based on the humanitarian urge to empower the people of Haiti to take back their country from gangs.

“Our nation possesses excellent international peace-mediating, peace-making, peace-building and peace-keeping credentials. From East Timor and the former Yugoslavia to Eritrea and Angola to Sierra Leone, we have always stood ready and willing to do our part to bring peace, security and stability,'” he said.

He said the Kenyan mission will ensure that it secures the country’s critical infrastructure including air and seaports as well as other vital transit arteries and intersections.

Kenya has committed to send its 1,000 troops to Haiti, while The Bahamas will send 150.

Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda have also committed to the mission.

Kenya will now deploy its force to Haiti by January 2024.

The President also defended the mission saying it is informed by Kenya’s harrowing brunt of colonialism, as well as the long, difficult and frustrating struggle for freedom against those that could influence international institutions to frustrate justice.

“For us in Kenya, this mission is of special significance and critical urgency. In our struggle, we always had friends, not an overwhelming multitude of powerful allies, yet nevertheless true, loyal and determined friends,” Ruto said.

“The people of Haiti, our dear friends, today stand in need. It is our fundamental moral obligation to be their friend indeed, by standing with them.”

Ruto said that when newly independent states were investing in the future by building infrastructures, setting up systems of self-governance and developing the capacity to flourish in freedom, Haitians were being forced to invest in a cruel past by being made to pay for refusing to be slaves.

“As a result of this injustice, perpetrated by colonialists with the silent connivance of international institutions, Haiti lost decades of development opportunity, and became vulnerable to calamities,” he said.

“It has endured devastating geological and extreme weather disasters which have left the state and its economy strained to the utmost and unable to cope with the challenge of providing basic services.”

The President said the deployment to Haiti This moment also affirms the Pan-African commitment to the continent’s unity together with the African Union’s policy of solidarity with the African Diaspora in observance of “our sacred duty towards our flesh and blood”.

In the first three months of 2023, it was reported that more than 850 people were killed by the gang, adding up to thousands of others who have died since the beginning of the unrest in Haiti.

According to the United Nations, a total of 1,359 were kidnapped in 2022.

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