HomeDiplomacy & Foreign AffairsKenyans On Twitter Question Government's Priorities Amid Proposed Police Deployment to Haiti

Kenyans On Twitter Question Government’s Priorities Amid Proposed Police Deployment to Haiti

  • EDITOR’S BRIEF: The backlash on Twitter against Mutua’s statement highlights the growing concern among Kenyans about the government’s priorities when it comes to security. Some argue that the government should first address the security challenges within the country before offering to send forces abroad. The issue also raises questions about the effectiveness of sending forces abroad to quell unrest in other countries, and whether it is the best use of resources in a country facing its own security challenges.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Alfred Mutua, has faced backlash on Twitter after suggesting that Kenya would send police officers to Haiti to help stabilize the gang-plagued country. Mutua had tweeted that Kenya had offered to send police officers to assist in stabilizing the country, which has been wracked by gang violence, making towns and people’s lives unbearable.

However, Kenyans on Twitter have criticized Mutua’s sentiments, with some calling on him to first have the police deal with the situation in the troubled north of Kenya. Some Twitter users observed that Kenya’s police-to-citizen ratio is already low, and that the government should focus on addressing the banditry situation in West Pokot, Samburu, Marsabit, and other parts of the country before offering to send police to Haiti.

It is not the first time Kenya has sent forces abroad to help quell unrest in troubled regions. In November 2020, Kenya sent 900 troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is facing a major security challenge in the eastern part, where armed groups had stepped up attacks, reviving ancient animosities and unleashing a surge in tension with neighboring Rwanda.

The proposed deployment of police officers to Haiti is seen by some Kenyans as adding to the statistics of Kenyan boots abroad. The UN has reported that gangs in Haiti have grown more powerful since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Mo├»se, and already control an estimated 60% of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s largest port.

In March 2022 alone, new clashes between gangs in Haiti’s capital and beyond have killed at least 187 people in less than two weeks and injured more than 150 others, according to the UN.

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