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Haitians welcome approval of Kenya-led mission

Supporters of assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moïse hold a rally outside United Nations headquarters in New York . 22/09/2023   -  
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Haitians on Tuesday welcomed the news that the United Nations Security Council has approved the deployment of a Kenya-led armed force to Haiti.

The international mission, led by Kenya but with personnel also from Jamaica, the Bahamas and Antigua and Barbuda, will be the first time in almost 20 years that a force is being deployed to the Caribbean country. 

A 2004 UN mission ended in 2017, which aided criminals in seizing control of much of the country. 

The upcoming non-UN mission has been authorised for a one-year deployment to help quell the violent gangs

It will be reviewed after nine months and is to be funded by voluntary contributions, with the U.S. pledging up to $200 million.

Previous interventions

More than 2,400 people were reported killed between January and mid-August of this year, while more than 950 have been kidnapped and another 902 wounded, according to UN statistics. 

The UNSC's approval of the mission comes nearly a year after Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry and 18 top government officials requested the immediate deployment of a foreign armed force to fight gangs. 

Yet, some Haitians remain wary of foreign intervention. 

Previous missions have left many angry, with a sexual abuse and cholera outbreak scandal blighting the UN's MINUSTAH mission.

Some critics have also warned of past abuses committed by the Kenyan police force, but supporters say the UN's resolution approving the new force contains strong language to prevent abuse.

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