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Senior security officers who travelled to Haiti ahead of the planned deployment of Kenyan forces are expected back in Nairobi today.
The return comes amid delays in the mission aimed at helping Haiti deal with severe gang violence.

Officials said yesterday the government was now ready to send police officers to the Caribbean country to help quell growing gang violence, but several identified issues must be addressed first.

The advance team, including Noor Gabow, the deputy inspector general of the Administration Police Service, held several meetings with other officials, including from the United Nations Integrated Office in Port-au-Prince, among other inspections.

The team is expected to arrive in Kenya on Monday. They recommended a delay in the deployment after observing several logistical issues in Haiti.

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Kenyan police officers were expected to start arriving in Haiti this week but the advance team advised that a few issues be sorted out on the ground first. As a result, the force is expected to be there by mid-June, according to President William Ruto.

According to a senior Kenyan official, who spoke anonymously, the bases where the Kenyan police officers are supposed to operate are still under construction.

Additionally, essential resources such as vehicles are not yet available. The base is reportedly about 70% complete, and the secure storage for the armoury is still being worked on.

Kenya, which is leading the 2,500-member security force, has agreed with the Haitian government on rules of engagement for the security personnel, who could face fierce opposition from Haitian gangs that have taken over the country’s capital and overwhelmed local police.

Initially, the deployment was scheduled to start this week. However, President William Ruto announced that it would be postponed for three weeks to allow more time to address the logistical challenges. The decision to delay was influenced by the recommendation from the advance team.

The multinational force led by Kenya is seen as a vital step in aiding Haiti’s weak and outgunned police force. The goal is to bring an end to the dominance of the criminal gangs that have long plagued the nation.

However, the agreement has not been committed to writing or submitted to the United Nations Security Council, a prerequisite for the multinational security mission to begin.

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