Kenyan court extends suspension of police deployment in Haiti

A Kenyan court on Tuesday October 24 extended a court ruling suspending the deployment of a thousand police officers to Haiti, plunged in chaos and gang violences, as part of a UN-backed mission.
The Caribbean country is experiencing “new records” of crime, the UN warned on Monday October 23, three weeks after giving the go-ahead for the deployment of a non-UN multinational mission led by Kenya to assist the Haitian police. The Kenyan government’s decision to deploy police officers to Haiti has prompted much questioning and criticism in the East African country.
The Nairobi High Court had suspended this decision on October 9, pending consideration of an appeal lodged by lawyer and opponent Ekuru Aukot, who argues that the deployment is unconstitutional. Initially scheduled for Tuesday October 24, the hearing on the merits was postponed until November 9.
“This court was seized of this matter before anyone else, and it would make no sense to cancel or allow the provisional orders to expire”, justified Judge Enock Mwita. The details of the U.S.-backed mission to Haiti have not yet been finalized, and Parliament has yet to vote on it, as required by the Constitution.
The Kenyan government claimed on October 13 to have “ratified” the deployment and sent the text to Parliament. But according to Mr. Aukot, this announcement constitutes contempt of court. “They (the government) are cleaning house and asking for approvals after we have obtained the court injunction,” he stressed.
The Kenyan government has come under heavy criticism for its decision to send police officers to Haiti, a highly unstable and dangerous country. Human rights NGOs point out that the Kenyan police are accustomed to using force, sometimes lethal, against civilians, which constitutes a major risk in a country where previous foreign interventions have been marked by human rights violations.

About Geraldine Boechat 2734 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia