UN authorizes Kenyan-led military intervention in Haiti

The multinational security force will collaborate with Haitian National Police to conduct “targeted operations” to allegedly combat gang violence

October 02, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Haitians protest against possible foreign intervention in August (Photo: Radyo Rezistans/Facebook)

On Monday, October 2, the United Nations Security Council voted to authorize a year-long Kenyan-led security intervention in Haiti for the stated goals of curbing gang violence. This mission would reportedly send a multinational security force to guard critical infrastructure and conduct “targeted operations” alongside the Haitian National Police.

From August 20-23, a 10-member mission of Kenyan officials arrived in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince to evaluate the security situation in the Caribbean country and meet with senior officials of the de-facto government led by Ariel Henry, the police, and the diplomatic corps of other nations.

The delegation’s visit came weeks after Kenya offered to lead a multinational police force in Haiti to help improve its security and stem gang violence. On July 29, Kenyan Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua said in a post on X that the east African country is ready to deploy 1,000 police officers to help train and assist Haiti’s police to “restore normalcy in the country and protect strategic installations.”

No more interventions!

Haiti has a long history of foreign intervention, originating from the Haitian Revolution’s declaration of independence from France in 1804. After the revolution, led by emancipated slaves, was victorious, France invaded and blockaded Haiti. The United States invaded and occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. In 2004, the UN authorized the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) which lasted till 2014 and was led by Brazilian military officials. This multinational military intervention remains an open wound in Haiti due to the rampant human rights violations committed by the soldiers such as crimes of sexual assault perpetrated by multinational soldiers against Haitians, including minors, and for generating a cholera outbreak which killed nearly 10,000 (according to some estimates, the real number is a much higher 40,000).

According to Camille Chalmers, Haitian economist and coordinator of ALBA Movimientos Haiti, the Haitian people, “don’t want another military intervention,” as he stated in an interview with Brasil de Fato. “We believe that there is a way to end the insecurity generated by gangs by controlling arms trafficking,” he continued. “We know where all these weapons come from. They come from the United States and the border; and it’s not that difficult, with the technological means that exist today, to control the flow of arms and ammunition.”

In an interview with Barricada TV in August, Henry Boisrolin, a Haitian activist based in Argentina, pointed out that “a thousand policemen obviously cannot solve the issue of insecurity. In other words, the presence of those thousand policemen — in case they arrive in Haiti — would be to protect the leaders and institutions, not the Haitian people. This is clear.”

Read more: Haitians reject Kenya’s plan for armed intervention

Progressive organizations around the world including the International Peoples’ Assembly and Progressive International have denounced the UN’s authorization.