A group of Haitian-American elected officials have written to United States President Joe Biden asking him to withdraw support for Kenya its Peacekeeping mission in Haiti.
The officials cite reasons for their request saying that Kenya’s intervention in Haiti will increase President Ariel Henry’s grip on power.
The officials including those affiliated with The National Haitian-American Elected Officials Network (NHAEON) and Family Action Network Movement (FANM) wrote to Biden and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressing their concerns.
“Any military intervention supporting Haiti’s corrupt, repressive, unelected regime will likely exacerbate its current political crisis to a catastrophic one,” they wrote.
Protestors fill the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti on July 20, 2023.
“It will further entrench the regime, deepening Haiti’s political crisis while generating significant civilian casualties and migration pressure,” they noted in their request.
Haiti has been a nation of interest because of its instability and spike in gang dominance since the assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, making Henry the country’s interim leader.
Most Haitian and Haitian-American civil societies have also piled pressure on the Biden administration to withdraw support for Henry.
“If your Administration were to withdraw its support for Dr. Henry, he would have been forced to negotiate with Haitian civil society and other groups toward a peaceful solution to Haiti’s current political crisis,” the groups wrote.
The groups claimed that the current government has links with the gangs terrorizing Haitian citizens.
They also called on the U.S. authorities to increase their efforts to prevent weapons trafficking to Haiti.
“This regime has dismantled Haiti’s democratic structures while facilitating and conceding control of the country to many gang leaders. The PHTK governments did not run a fair or timely election,” the groups further wrote.
Advocacy groups have accused Biden and his administration of interfering in Haiti’s internal affairs, with Kenya’s US-funded operation in the country being cited as a prime example.
The United States pledged its support for Kenya as the country plans to send 1000 police officers to Haiti.
On September 25, 2023, the United States and Kenya signed a Ksh 14.8 billion deal, in an event presided by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Kenyan counterpart Aden Duale.
The funds will be channeled towards Kenya’s security operation in Haiti.
“The United States stands ready to support that important mission by providing robust financial and logistical assistance,” said the secretary of Defense.
President William Ruto and US Secretary for Defence Lloyd Austin during a meeting at State House Nairobi on September 25, 2023