Nairobi — Lawmakers have approved the proposed deployment of the National Police Forces to the Multi National Security Support Mission to Haiti.
The government nod awaits consensus by the Senate which is expected to table and approve the joint report by the Security and National Administration Committee before paving way for the deployment of 1,000 troops.
Another hurdle prior to deployment of officers to Haiti is the hearing and determination of a court case filed by Thirdway Alliance.
The court extended an order barring the government from deploying hundreds of police officers to Haiti on a UN-backed mission until the case is heard and determined.
A joint committee of the National Assembly and the Senate on Security and National Administration approved the deployment with a dissenting opinion from Homabay MP Peter Kaluma who opposed the deployment citing unconstitutionality and unlawfulness.
Kaluma noted that the National Police Service perform its function within the territory of Kenya and its not a force of deployment outside the country.
Further, he opposed the deployment arguing that the National Police Service is an independent institution which is not capable of deployment by the National Security Council (NSAC).
The Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration Kithure Kindiki had told the Joint Parliamentary team that the proposed deployment of officers from the National Police Service to Haiti is not just a fulfillment of her global obligations; it also enhances her reputation as a reliable nation.
Kindiki put a strong case for the Mission which is part of United Nations Multinational Security Support in Haiti. Kenyan troops have been to Namibia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Somalia and Congo for peacekeeping missions.
The Interior Boss projected a budget of Sh 36.5Billion out Sh 91 Billion earmarked for the 11-nation Mission.
Kindiki said the exercise to recruit the 1,000 troops for the mission has commenced.
“We have agreed that the resources for this mission will be arranged and mobilized among member states. Unless all resources are mobilized and availed. Our troops will not leave the country,” he said.
CS Kindiki mentioned that the 1000 member police force will be sent in batches to ensure proper coordination in the deployment.
“We have taken the proactive measure to ensure we at least identify the officers. We are engaged to ensure they are fit for purpose,” he said.
At least ten other countries have signaled readiness to deploy personnel of various kinds, but it is the Kenyan police who will lead the mission which received approval from the UN Security Council in October.
Other countries also in the mission include Senegal (350), Burundi (250), Chile, Jamaica, Ecuador, Barbados (200) and Seychelles will deploy 190 officers.
Haiti, which became the first black majority nation in the world to win independence, has been under some form of foreign intervention. But with 13 coups and seven assassinations of its leaders over the past century, the country’s security nightmare was worsened by the rise of gangs.
Kindiki told the committee that the deployment of the 1,000 officers will not jeopardise the security of the country as there are enough officers that will remain locally to ensure the safety of Kenyans.