ODM Labels Kenya-Led Haiti Police Mission as “Poor Man’s Philanthropy”

October 13, 2023

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has called on the government to reconsider the proposed deployment of Kenyan police to head the Multinational Security Support Mission in Haiti.

In a statement released on Thursday, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said the deployment lacks “strategic geopolitical value to Kenya,” deeming the decision unwise.

Sifuna mentioned that the situation in Haiti does not pose an immediate threat to Kenya’s national security. He further questioned why Haiti’s neighboring nations were reluctant to intervene.

Moreover, ODM argued that Kenya’s National Police Service lacks a constitutional mandate to carry out operations beyond the country’s borders.

“The recommended ratio of police officers to population is one for every 450 citizens. Kenya’s ration is around 1 for every 1,000 citizens. We simply do not have policemen to spare.

“Indeed, given the current security challenges around Sondu, Lamu, the North Rift, along the border with Somalia and within the islands of Lake Victoria, only a truly insensitive and reckless government would deploy 1,000 police officers elsewhere. A poor man’s philanthropy will always raise eyebrows,” Sifuna said.

The opposition party additionally claimed that some of the world’s most powerful countries had previously intervened in Haiti, and each time, the outcomes were disastrous.

“There is therefore no gainsaying the fact that the breakdown of law and order, or the instability in Haiti, are not superficial issues that require mere policing. The root causes go deeper than that,” ODM said.

The Raila Odinga-led party raised questions about the government’s haste decision-making without seeking parliamentary approval.

Edwin Sifuna pointed out that the commitment of the officers to Haiti seemed to have been made well in advance of obtaining approvals from both the United Nations and the Kenyan Parliament.

“For some strange reason, the Ruto regime has arbitrarily decided to send, not the military but the police, to Haiti, a country far away in the Western Hemisphere with no strategic geopolitical value to Kenya. In fact, this is not the main worry in this plan shrouded in mystery,” Sifuna said.

“In light of these concerns, ODM urges the Ruto regime to reconsider this offer. We call upon Members of Parliament to oppose the deployment of our men and women in uniform to Haiti should the matter be brought before Parliament,” said the Nairobi senator.

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