U.N. Security Council approves sending a Kenya-led force to quell violence in Haiti

The U.N. Security Council has approved a resolution to deploy a Kenya-led armed force to Haiti to help curb violent gangs, the first of such deployments to the Caribbean nation in nearly 20 years.

Resolution Details: The U.S. and Ecuador-drafted resolution received 13 votes in favor and two abstentions from China and Russia.
* The resolution authorizes a non-U.N. mission to deploy for one year, with a review after nine months.
* It will be funded by voluntary contributions, with the U.S. pledging up to $200 million.

Intended Outcomes: The deployment is a response to Haiti’s prime minister’s request for an armed force to control gang violence and facilitate the conducting of postponed elections.
* Haiti’s National Police has struggled against gangs with only about 10,000 active officers for a population of over 11 million.
* It is not clear how large the force will be, but Kenya has proposed sending 1,000 police officers.

Deployment Details: No confirmed date has been set for the deployment.
* Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Alfred Mutua suggested that the force could deploy within two to three months, possibly by early January.
* Key officers are currently learning French in preparation.

Opposing Views: China and Russia abstained from voting, expressing concerns.
* Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, criticized the rushed decision and the lack of details regarding the use of force and withdrawal plans.
* China’s U.N. ambassador, Zhang Jun, stressed the need for an effective and responsible Haitian government in place for any external support to have lasting effects.

Further Implications: The armed force deployment aims to restore peace and enable long-delayed elections following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021.
* Haiti’s deepening poverty, with 60% of its over 11 million people earning less than $2 a day, and a surge in killings, rapes, and kidnappings are major obstacles to stability.
* Critics of the Kenya-led mission highlighted concerns over accusations of abuse and violence against Kenyan police.

View original article on NPR

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