US lauds Kenya for offer to lead police force in Haiti

US lauds Kenya for offer to lead police force in Haiti

US 'looks forward to working with partners of Haiti to advance this process successfully,' says Secretary of State Antony Blinken

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - The US lauded Kenya on Tuesday for its offer to lead a multinational police force in Haiti to help restore stability in the violence-plagued Caribbean nation.

"The United States commends the Government of Kenya for responding to Haiti’s call and for considering to serve as the lead nation for a multinational force in Haiti to assist in addressing insecurity caused by gang violence," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

"The United States looks forward to working with partners of Haiti to advance this process successfully, including through a UN Security Council Resolution authorizing a multinational force to Haiti," he added.

Blinken continued to call on Haitian stakeholders to "to take steps urgently" to form a political consensus in the country and restore constitutional order, and thanked regional groups for their "vital support of these efforts."

Kenyan authorities on Saturday said Nairobi is prepared to deploy a 1,000-person strong police force in Haiti to help combat rampant gang violence in response to an international appeal.

Haiti has been beset by instability that grew significantly worse two years ago following the assassination of President Jovenel Mois by a group of armed men. The killing exacerbated what was already a dire humanitarian and economic situation in the country.

Gangs control wide swathes of Port-au-Prince, the capital city, as Haitians face political tumult, a humanitarian crisis and poverty in addition to extreme violence.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has repeatedly called for an international force to be deployed in Haiti, and thanked Nairobi on Monday for its offer.

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