May 25, 2024

A deployment of 1,000 Kenyan police officers to Haiti to help quell gang-fueled lawlessness is on hold until a new government is formed in the Caribbean nation, officials in Kenya said Tuesday.

Kenya had agreed to send a security force to Haiti, but that deal had been reached with Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who on Monday night agreed to step down once a new transitional government is formed.

“The deal they signed with the president still stands, although the deployment will not happen now because definitely we will require a sitting government to also collaborate with,” said Salim Swaleh, a top spokesman for Kenya’s Foreign Ministry. “Because you don’t just deploy police to go on the Port-au-Prince streets without a sitting administration.”

Haiti’s embattled prime minister announced his resignation after being stranded for days in Puerto Rico following a gang takeover of much of the Haitian capital that made it impossible for him to return. His decision followed several days of violent attacks on police stations, prisons, the main airport, seaport and other state institutions.

Mr. Henry’s resignation brought more uncertainty to an already chaotic situation on the Caribbean island, which has been overtaken in recent months by an extraordinary wave of gang violence.

Mr. Henry, 74, had traveled to Kenya to make final arrangements for the East African country to deploy 1,000 police officers to Haiti to help quell the violence. The mission was sanctioned by the United Nations and largely financed by the United States, which on Monday pledged to provide more aid.

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