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Haiti welcomes first contingent of Kenyan police to combat gang violence

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In a bid to address the escalating violence in Haiti, Prime Minister Garry Conille held a press briefing on Tuesday, welcoming the arrival of the first contingent of Kenyan police officers. The East African officers were greeted with appreciation and hope for restoring order in a country plagued by gang violence.

“The country is going through very difficult times, but we are already committed to resolving the issues,” said Conille, expressing gratitude for Kenya's solidarity. He noted the severe impact of gang activities, which have included the vandalism of homes and hospitals and the burning of libraries, rendering Haiti “unlivable.”

Standing alongside the Kenyan officers, Conille reiterated the Haitian government's dedication to resolving these critical issues. He responded to a recent statement by gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, also known as Barbecue, who expressed willingness to negotiate with the government provided the gangs disarm and respect state authority. Conille indicated that the deployment of the Kenyan police would commence in the coming days but did not disclose details of their first mission.

Accompanying Prime Minister Conille was Monica Juma, Kenya's former minister of foreign affairs and current national security advisor to President William Ruto. Juma emphasized Kenya's commitment to supporting the Haitian national police in restoring public order and security, fostering stronger ties between the two nations.

“We stand united in our commitment to support the Haitian national police, to restore public order and security. To build bridges between our people and our nations,” Juma stated. She also saluted the press and authorities with the Swahili phrase “Hakuna Matata,” meaning “there are no troubles or worries.”

This deployment marks the first U.N.-backed contingent of foreign police to arrive in Haiti nearly two years after the country urgently requested international assistance to combat the surge in gang violence. The Kenyan police are set to confront violent gangs that control 80% of Haiti’s capital, affecting over 580,000 people and resulting in the deaths of several thousand in recent years.

The arrival of the Kenyan police brings a glimmer of hope to a nation in dire need of stability and security. The international community watches closely as Haiti takes this crucial step towards reclaiming peace and order.

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