The Nairobi High Court rejected a planned deployment of Kenyan police officers to Haiti.
The ruling on Friday by Judge Enock Chacha Mwita said Kenya could only deploy officers abroad if it had a “reciprocal arrangement” with the host government. It also ruled that only defense forces could be deployed, not security services.
Last year, the Nairobi court suspended the government’s plan to send 1,000 police officers to Haiti.
Three petitioners, including opposition politician and constitutional lawyer Ekuru Aukot, brought the case, telling VOA at the time the proposed deployment was unconstitutional, an argument accepted by the court.
In October, the U.N. Security Council had approved a Kenya-led multinational security force aimed at helping to combat violent gangs in the troubled Caribbean nation.
Other African countries, including Chad, Senegal, Burundi, also have said they will add troops to the multinational force.
While many in Kenya have questioned their country’s lead role in this mission, some had been supportive of President William Ruto, who had said, “It’s a mission for humanity and … is of special significance and critical urgency” for Kenyans.”
Violence escalated in Haiti on Wednesday as a heavily armed gang surrounded a hospital in the capital of Port-au-Prince. Police later rescued the patients.
On Thursday, the head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime warned of a “vicious cycle” of arms trafficking to increasingly powerful Haitian gangs, fueling an internal conflict and worsening violence across the Caribbean.
Also Thursday, Haitian Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Victor Geneus told the U.N. Security Council that gang violence in his country was as barbaric as the horrors experienced in war zones, and once again asked for an international force to intervene.
Gangs across Haiti have continued to grow more powerful since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, and the number of kidnappings and killings keeps rising.