Haiti is no exception! Ruto defends troop deployment

President William Ruto on Wednesday defended the government’s decision to deploy police officers to gang-ravaged Haiti.

Answering questions during a question and answer session at the White House, Ruto said it is Kenya’s responsibility to help countries in difficulty.

The President added that Kenya has been at the forefront in helping African countries regain peace and stability and Haiti would be no exception.

“I made a commitment to Kenyans to resolve insecurity in the North Rift, and I have followed it up with action. As we speak, there are 3,000 military officers in the North Rift and 2,000 police officers in the North Rift,” the president said .

“We have renovated the first 15 schools and reopened 20 schools that were closed, which continues. We have made tremendous progress in creating safety at home.”

He explained that while sending police to Haiti, the government is making progress in resolving the threat of banditry in the North Rift.

“Even when we were deploying troops and police officers in our own country, in the North Rift, to solve the problem of banditry, we deployed 1,000 troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo because that is our neighbourhood,” Ruto said.

The president added that Kenya has deployed 5,000 troops to Somalia on a peacekeeping mission.

“This deployment is equally our responsibility and Haiti should be no exception. That is why the deployment of 1,000 security men to Haiti speaks to the same belief and commitment to peace and security.

The President said Kenya’s participation in the peacekeeping mission in Haiti is due to Kenya’s belief in the peace and security of humanity.

“We do not find that the United States is engaging Kenya, because the United States cannot engage Kenya. I am the president of Kenya and it is I who must make that decision. It is the people of Kenya who must commit their troops using their structures.” he added.

Ruto said Kenyans understand that insecurity and instability anywhere in the world is instability for everyone.

On Tuesday, the first 100 Kenyan police officers arrived as peacekeepers in Haiti.

Another 900 will follow as Kenya assumes leadership of the multiple foreign forces helping to restore law and order to Haiti.

The deputy inspector general of the administrative police, Noor Gabow, heads the delegation that visited Port-au-Prince last year to carry out planning and reconnaissance tasks.

Gabow will serve as Force Commander of the Multinational Security Support Mission and has already arrived in the Caribbean country affected by gang violence.

The US Department of Defense has landed more than 37 flights at Haiti’s Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince since late April, local media said.

Kenyan troops will be used to protect the airport and other key facilities.

The airport, along with neighboring Guy Malary National Airport, had been closed to commercial and scheduled flights since armed gangs launched attacks on state institutions on February 29.

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