Last Friday, Kenya signed a cooperation treaty to send around a thousand police officers to Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas and which is facing a very serious security crisis. The Kenyan opposition, however, threatens to legally prevent the agreement.

Opposition leader Ekuru Aukot classified the agreement as “false” and questioned on the social network X/Twitter what the country’s forces could do differently, as more powerful contingents from other countries have already failed in Haiti.

“This week our president, Williams Ruto, signed a fake deal with #Haiti’s impostor prime minister, #ArielHenri, to send 1,000 police officers to Haiti to ‘bring law and order’.”

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“The Americans, the French, the Canadians and the Brazilians who have more powerful forces have been there before. They were ‘made of barbecue’. So what magic will Kenya do in Haiti when we can’t deal with the cattle rustlers in Haiti? Northern Kenya?”

The ironic speech is a reference to Jimmy Cherizier, nicknamed Barbecue (barbecue in English). A former police officer, he leads the coalition of gangs demanding the resignation of the country’s prime minister. The nickname would be due to the custom of burning enemies. He threatened to start a civil war if Ariel Henry did not step down from power and call elections, as he had promised.

Opposition to the deployment of police officers is also based on the fear that Haiti’s laws would be different from those of Kenya, which could place Kenyans in a situation of legal uncertainty.


On Wednesday (6), the UN Security Council expressed concern about what it called a critical situation in Haiti. At the emergency meeting, “everyone shared their concerns”, particularly the need to send the international police support mission, said Malta’s ambassador Vanessa Frazier.

Henry has been unable to return to the country, having been in Puerto Rico since the signing of the agreement in Kenya on Friday.

The current crisis began last Thursday (February 29) when coordinated attacks targeted government facilities. On Saturday, prison raids freed around 3,600 detainees, most of them from criminal gangs. The government decreed a curfew the following day, in force initially until last Wednesday, but extended this Thursday (7) for another month. It is estimated that gangs control most of the country’s capital and that the violence has forced 15,000 people to abandon their homes in the city.

Haiti is experiencing an unprecedented wave of violence marked by an increase in clashes between the Police and gangs in the capital of the Caribbean country / Luckenson JEAN / AFPTV / AFP

The attacks against several strategic locations had the objective, according to the gangs, of taking down Henry. In power since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021 — by gangs — he should have left office in February, calling elections, but he didn’t.

“We must unite. Either Haiti becomes a paradise for everyone or hell for everyone,” Barbecue said on Monday. “This is not a small group of rich people who live in big hotels and decide the fate of the residents of popular neighborhoods.”

The United States on Wednesday called on Henry to “accelerate” the transition to a new “governance structure” and schedule elections.

“We urge you to accelerate the transition to a strengthened and inclusive governance structure”, which should allow the country to prepare for a multinational mission “to address the security situation and pave the way for free and fair elections”, he told reporters US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller

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According to US government sources interviewed by the newspaper Miami Heraldthe Biden administration fears that Haiti will fall definitively into the hands of criminal gangs in the near future.

Editing: Thalita Pires


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