Kenya court orders service of lawsuit opposing police deployment to Haiti News
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Kenya court orders service of lawsuit opposing police deployment to Haiti

The Kenya High Court on Friday ordered that a lawsuit seeking to prevent the government from deploying police to Haiti be served on top government officials, according to Reuters. The court scheduled the case’s hearing for June 12.

Thirdway Alliance Kenya leaders Dr. Ekuru Aukot and Miruru Waweru filed the complaint on Thursday to block the police deployment, which is part of a UN-backed mission to assist Haiti’s battle against gang violence. The plaintiffs argued that the government’s agreement with Haiti to deploy police officers was in contempt of a January court order that deemed the deployment unconstitutional and illegal. The plaintiffs emphasized the urgency of the matter, noting that the deployment was scheduled for May 23.

Kenya’s parliament had approved the deployment of 10,000 officers to Haiti in November. However, the High Court in Nairobi declared the decision unconstitutional, citing that Kenya could only send police officers to Haiti if both countries had a reciprocal agreement under sections 107 and 108 of the National Police Service Act.

In March, Kenya and Haiti signed a security deal to deploy 1,000 Kenyan police officers to Haiti to restore order. This decision faced opposition from key political figures. Operations seemed to pause in March due to the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, but Kenyan president William Ruto confirmed that Kenya would still lead the UN Security Support Mission in Haiti as promised.

Haiti has been grappling with organized gang violence and the aftermath of President Jovenel Moise’s assassination in 2021. The escalating violence prompted a state of emergency and international calls for intervention, including from the UN High Commissioner, to prevent further chaos.