Plan to deploy police officers to Haiti still on, Ruto assures US

President William Ruto and former Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry. [PCS]

President William Ruto has assured the US that Kenya is still determined to deploy police to Haiti. 

Ruto, on his X account Wednesday, said he had a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

"He informed me that a new Presidential Council will be formed shortly to manage the situation in Haiti. I assured Secretary Blinken that Kenya will take leadership of the UN Security Support Mission in Haiti to restore peace and security in Haiti as soon as the Presidential Council is in place under an agreed process," Ruto wrote. 

The decision by the Summit of Caribbean Countries (Caricom) to form the council followed after the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, which complicated Kenya's move to deploy security officers. 

Henry resigned while he was in Puerto Rico after failing to make a return to the country, whose capital Port-au-Prince has been seized by armed gangs. He visited Kenya on March 1 in bid to convince the country to deploy the police. 

This is the second time in a week that President Ruto is having a conversation with Blinken after US State Department announced on March 9 that the two talked about the "ongoing political and security crisis in Haiti".

"They underscored unwavering commitment to the deployment of a Multinational Security Support mission to support the Haitian National Police in creating the security conditions necessary to conduct free and fair elections," the US State Department announced.

On Monday,  Blinken announced that the US will contribute More than Sh41.7 billion ($300 million) to the Kenyan-led mission to Haiti.

 “I’m announcing today that the United States Department of Defense is doubling its approved support for the mission from $100 million to $200 million. And that brings the total US support to $300 million for this effort,” said Blinken at the conclusion of the Caricom meeting in the Jamaican capital of Kingston.

The top US diplomatic said the country supports “the plan to create a broad based, inclusive, independent presidential college” that would “take concrete steps to meet the immediate needs of Haitian people,” and enable the “swift deployment” of the security support mission. [Ndung'u Gachane]