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Kenyan Police patrol Haitian Capital

Kenyan police patrol an area near the international airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, July 3, 2024   -  
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AP Photo


The streets of Port-au-Prince were patrolled by Kenyan police officers on Wednesday, equipped with body armour and automatic weapons.

This group, the initial U.N.-supported foreign police unit in Haiti, arrived in the country in June, responding to a plea for assistance to combat escalating gang violence.

Currently, criminal gangs dominate approximately 80% of the capital, leading to over 580,000 individuals being displaced in recent months.

The officers, stationed near the international airport, drew the attention of onlookers but encountered no confrontations with gangs.

Haiti's Prime Minister Garry Conille expressed gratitude for the Multinational Security Support Mission, emphasizing the urgent need to address the violence perpetrated by armed groups.

Haiti is currently at a critical point with 12,000 armed individuals holding a population of 12 million hostage," said Conille.

A contingent of hundreds of Kenyan police officers landed in Haiti on June 25 to participate in the Multinational Security Support Mission aimed at combating armed criminal gangs and restoring peace in the country.

"The deployment of the first contingent of police officers alongside Haitian law enforcement agencies should help put a stop to the barbarity of criminal groups,” added Connille.

They will be soon reinforced by police and military personnel from the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Chad, and Jamaica, bringing the total number of personnel to 2,500.

María Isabel Salvador, Head of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti, highlighted the significance of this deployment in line with Security Council Resolution 2699, offering a glimmer of hope for the people of Haiti.

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