The Kenyan mission to Haiti has received a major financial boost from the United States of America (USA) government amounting to Sh14.5 billion (USD 100 million) to support the Kenya Police Service-led peacekeeping effort in Haiti, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.
Speaking last Friday, Blinken revealed the US president Joe Biden led administration was keen on ensuring that the police mission is successful, and that the support will include logistics, intelligence, communication, and medical assistance. The meeting seeks to create “space” for Haiti to resolve its political crisis. The country has not held elections since 2016.
“The people of Haiti cannot wait much longer. Improved security must be accompanied by real progress to resolve the political crisis. The support mission will not be a substitute for political progress.” Blinken noted.
He told a ministerial meeting that the Biden administration would ask Congress for USD100 million to support the mission, which includes both troops and police.
“With our support, this mission can deploy within months, and we really have no time to lose,” Blinken told the meeting that included Prime Minister Ariel Henry. “The support mission will not be a substitute for political progress.” He added.
The peacekeepers will not operate under a United Nations (UN) flag, but the US is leading efforts for a Security Council resolution to authorise the effort.
A resolution co-sponsored by the United States and Ecuador should be finalised next week, said officials, who expected “very strong support” from the Security Council.
The announcement by the Biden administration was made hours after Blinken held a meeting with Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua alongside other officials from the UN at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
Blinken hinted that the purpose of the meeting was to increase support for the Kenya-led expedition, which has not yet received approval from the UN Security Council. The focus of the behind-closed-doors conference was on the officers’ logistical needs and the early findings of the Kenyan police team’s visit to Haiti in August.
This comes as a series of meetings are planned in Kenya to discuss the issue.
This will see the need to hold a National Security Council meeting and taking a motion to Parliament to approve the plan to deploy the police.