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Kenya needs Sh91 million for police mission to Haiti

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki (centre) and  Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome (right) before the joint Parliamentary committee. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

A total of Sh91 billion ($600 million) is required for the peacekeeping mission in Haiti with Kenya seeking Sh36.4 billion ($241.3 Million) for its participation as the lead country in the mission from the United Nations.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki revealed that the first batch of the 1,000 Kenyan police officers will be deployed to Haiti early next year. He said that the selection process of the officers had been completed and pre-deployment training was ongoing.

According to documents tabled in Parliament by the CS and Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome, $156.98 million will go towards administrative support, transport ($127.6 million), weapons,  ammunition, and anti-riot equipment ($9.1 million).

General equipment will take up $3.28 million, technical equipment ($1.9 million) and training ($1.49 million).

This was revealed yesterday during the joint Parliamentary committee sitting of the Senate and National Assembly through which the security chiefs sought the approval of the August House to deploy 1,000 police officers to war-torn Haiti.

“The cost of implementation of the mission shall be borne through voluntary contributions by UN member States and organisations to a trust fund under the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG),” said Kindiki.

According to Prof Kindiki, the ministry did not cost the movement of personal equipment to Haiti as the US committed to airlift the same.

He also assured that no officers would leave Kenya before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) met the stated requirements including availing of the budget.

“The overall budget for the mission is pegged at $600 million which will go towards preparing the forces, sustaining the transport costs, communication allowances, general allowances, and covering the force's return home," said the CS.

“Our troops will not leave the country unless our resources are availed. We will deploy the officers once all the equipment is deployed in Haiti…we have also already spent part of the money on training but this will be reimbursed by the UNSC,” he added.

Koome revealed that the personnel to be deployed will comprise two teams namely the Headquarter team and the Formed Police Unit (FPU) command.

The headquarters team will comprise the overall mission commander, chief of operations, chief of staff, and chief of logistics with the remaining 96 personnel forming part of the headquarters team (Statcom, Intelligence, investigations, and other technical agencies.)

The Formed Police Unit (FPU) command team comprises one FPU commander and five Senior Superintendent of Police (SSPs), one Deputy FPU commander, and five Superintendent of Police (SPs). Others are a support service officer, police Intelligence officer, Ops Officer, Liaison officer, and five Duty officers bringing the total to 25 Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs).

Five Platoon commanders and 25 Chief Inspectors of Police, Deputy platoon commanders, platoon sergeants, section commanders, and a total of 655 constables.

While in Haiti, the officers will be tasked with providing the overall mission commander and other leadership positions as the lead country, supporting the Haitian National Police (NHP) on joint operation planning, building its capacity and conducting joint security support operations, supporting the NHP for the provision of security for critical infrastructure sites and transit locations such as airports, ports, schools, hospitals, and key intersections.

They will also help in access to unhindered access to humanitarian aid, and help NHP maintain basic laws including arrests and detention in full compliance with the law.

The Kenyan police will also adopt temporary measures on an exceptional basis which are limited in scope, time-bound, proportionate, and consistent with helping the NHP maintain law and order.

“Kenya has international obligations and that is why we urge this House to approve our request to deploy personnel to Haiti because we cannot allow what is happening there to continue,” said Koome.

This comes amid pushback from a section of MPs who poked holes into the executive's plan to deploy police to the war-torn nation, raising concerns over their capacity, legal roadblocks, selection criteria, and what Kenya stood to gain from placing officers in harm's way.

“I am sceptical about the IGs move to deploy Kenyan forces to Haiti because Kenya may not have the technical capacity and it's more worrying because countries with better-trained officers have withdrawn their forces,” said Nominated Senator Karen Nyamu.

Her sentiments were echoed by Kisumu Woman Rep Rozah Buyu who termed deployment of Kenyan police to Haiti “a luxury we cannot afford”.

“What are the advantages that the country seeks to gain through these deployments and has the CS and IG property negotiated compensation for families whose officers lose their lives?” Posed Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dulo.

In response, Kindiki noted that Kenya would use the deployment to strengthen bilateral engagements with other countries undertaking the mission.

The deal to send troops to Haiti was entered into between Kenya’s then Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua and minister Jean Victor Genus, last month. 

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