- On 2nd October 2023, the United Nations Security Council approved the deployment of a Multinational Security Support Operation to Haiti. As a responsible member of the International Community, Kenya indicated its availability to consider contributing to this act of international solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
- Based on a thorough professional assessment and analysis, I want to confirm the readiness of our National Police Service to join this international effort, subject to parliamentary approval, as provided for in our constitution. In line with this, yesterday, the National Security Council endorsed the deployment, Cabinet ratified the decision, and the Executive has conveyed the request to Parliament, for consideration. I look forward to the expeditious consideration of this request, in light of the dire situation in Haiti.
- Unsurprisingly, and in view of our democratic nature, this matter has generated public interest, largely informed and driven by misconceptions and lack of information. Whereas some of the issues being raised will be considered and canvassed in parliament, I take this opportunity to respond directly to the people of Kenya on this matter.
- Among the questions that have been raised include the claims that Haiti is miles away and does not constitute any interest for Kenya; that our National Police Service will face insurmountable challenges in Haiti such as language barrier, cultural differences and unfamiliar terrain, that Kenya has internal security challenges which the National Police Service should first address before lending a hand to Haiti, and that the Kenya’s National Police Service lacks the requisite capacity and capability to address the Haitian Security situation. This is on the account that the other missions in Haiti have failed.
The Mission is Multinational in nature
- The security mission to Haiti is multinational, mandated by UNSCR 2699 (2023), which enjoyed unanimous approval. The Resolution endorses Kenya to lead and coordinate this multinational mission. This vote of confidence underscores the stature of our nation as a respected member of the International Community. Our participation in this mission adds to our renowned anchor role in contributing to international peace and security, a commitment underscored by the Kenya Kwanza administration. We have received strong support from across the world as countries continue to make their contribution to the mission. In Africa Senegal, Burundi, and Chad have expressed their commitment of troops. In addition, we welcome pledges from Jamaica, Bermuda, Barbados and Antigua from the Caribbean. A number of other countries have also expressed their commitment to provide both equipment and logistics in support of the MSS. Kenya will therefore be part of a multinational global effort.
Haiti and CARICOM is the 6th Region of Africa— A mission for Humanity:
- It is important to state that Kenya and Africa, have an affinity with Haiti. Haiti is part of the African Union’s 6th region. This places a duty of care on every African country. Just like we acted in concert to secure the freedom of the whole continent, Africa is keen to contribute to the freedom and security of Haiti. This explains the critical role of the three African Countries in the UNSC in the negotiation leading up to the adoption of the resolution and the demonstrated commitments in support of this mission from African countries. Owing to our strong commitment to Pan-Africanism, we are leading the mission to Haiti, in fulfilment of our obligation to Africa and its diaspora.
- Furthermore, the MSS mission is about the oneness of humanity and solidarity of the international community. It affirms the shared hope that the world has not forgotten the people of Haiti, who have suffered untold calamities. The people of Haiti have borne the brunt of colonial plunder and repression, post-colonial retaliation and exploitation, and suffered repeated geological, climatic and epidemic disasters. The MSS mission therefore is an effort to restore the dignity of the Haitian people, the stability of their nation, and the prosperity of this African nation.
Kenya’s commitment to Peace and Security
- Our value proposition for this mission is an impressive record of participation in Peace Support operations across the world, 46 missions in all since independence. Many of these are in far-flung areas including East Timor; Macedonia, Kosovo, Former Yugoslavia, Saharawi, Croatia, Namibia, Darfur and DRC. In each of these cases, we engaged different cultures, languages and geographic circumstances. The same is true for Haiti.
- Our participation in international missions has been professional and non-partisan, giving confidence to the people of the countries where we served, helping them to return to a path of sustainable development. Our National Police Service possesses the requisite experience and skills to undertake the mission, as demonstrated in their participation in the United Nations Iran–Iraq Observer Group; UNTAG in Namibia; UNOSOM, UNPROFOR, UNCRO UNPSG UN in Croatia, UNTAES, UNOMIL, UNPREDEP in Macedonia, MONUA in Angola, UNTAET, UNMIBIH in East Timor, UNTAC in Yugoslavia, UNMSL in Sierra Leone, UNMK in Kosovo and AU Mission in Darfur, ATMIS in Somalia and EACRF in DRC.
NPS Mission preparedness
- The deployment of NPS to Haiti is informed by a careful balance of our national security priorities and capabilities aided by a comprehensive analysis of the evolving security situation. To this end, we are engaged in consultations with a wide range of actors across the globe to ensure that we do not put the mission into harm’s way. Based on the consultations, we will take all measures to prepare and equip our contingent for success. This duty is being balanced with our national needs and the deployment shall not, in any way, compromise the capability of the National Police Service to continue guaranteeing the public safety of Kenyans.
- Our nation’s most critical asset is our human capital. This deployment will enable our officers to improve and sharpen their competencies, skills and experiences in providing security, even beyond our borders.
- Our participation in the MSS reaffirms the DNA of our nation. Our destiny is inextricably linked to the whole of humanity. This is why Haiti is important, Haiti is not far, and Haiti is our business. The MSS will restore security to Haiti, will enhance the capacity of our national police force to serve humanity even beyond our borders, and will reaffirm our position of pride among the Community of Nations. I urge all Kenyans to support our National Police Service as it undertakes this noble duty of care, as a responsible member of the International Community.