US, Kenya sign defense deal ahead of possible mission to Haiti | Political news

by MMC
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Kenyan Defense Minister Aden Duale said his country was ready to deploy to Haiti to help combat gang violence.

The United States and Kenya signed a defense agreement that will allow the East African country to obtain resources and support for security deployments, as it has been doing. volunteered to lead an international mission in Haiti, plagued by violence.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Kenyan Defense Minister Aden Duale signed the agreement on Monday during a meeting in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, guiding the two countries’ defense relations for the next five years.

“Today’s signing of the Defense Cooperation Framework between our two countries reinforces the importance of our strategic partnership with Kenya,” Austin said after the meeting, according to a statement. reading out loud by the Pentagon.

US defense chief highlights Kenya’s role in fighting al-Shababan armed group affiliated with Al-Qaeda active in East Africa.

He also thanked the Kenyan government for volunteering to lead a proposed multinational force in Haiti, which is struggling to respond to months of escalating gang violence.

Gangs control most of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and Haitians face a barrage of attacks, including kidnappings for ransom and sexual violence. Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes.

In October last year, Haiti’s de facto leader, Prime Minister Ariel Henry, called on the international community to help establish a “specialized armed force” to quell the violence.

The request for an international mission in Haiti has received support from the United States and the United Nations, but the deployment has been stalled for months because no country has agreed to lead such a mission in the country.

Several human rights activists have also raised questions about the prospect of foreign intervention, saying past missions have brought more harm than good, and called on countries to ensure adequate safeguards are in place. .

However, in July, Kenya said it was prepared to lead a “multinational force” into Haiti – provided the mission obtains a mandate from the UN Security Council – to help train and assist Haitian police to “restore normal”.

Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged the UN Security Council to approve the mission, which he said would be ready for deployment “in a few months.”

Blinken also said Washington would provide “robust financial and logistical assistance” to the proposed deployment.

“We urge the international community to pledge additional personnel, as well as equipment, logistics, training and funding. We cannot succeed without these contributions,” he added.

Kenya has pledged to send 1,000 security agents to Haiti to combat gang violence.

On Monday, Duale said his country was ready to deploy to Haiti and cited Kenya’s “very long history of maintaining global peace” in neighboring Kosovo, Somalia and Congo.

However, human rights activists expressed concerns on the deployment, citing a history of human rights violations during security operations in the African country.

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