Kenyan lawmakers voted on Thursday to support a request to deploy hundreds of police officers to Haiti in a U.N.-approved mission aimed at helping the Caribbean nation tackle gang violence.
Reports have it that Haiti is plagued by gang violence, which controls 80% of the capital, with the number of serious crimes reaching record levels, according to the UN representative in the country.
“The ayes have it,” laconically declared parliamentary vice-president Gladys Boos Shollei after asking the elected representatives to vote aloud.
However, the deployment remains suspended by the Nairobi High Court, which has yet to examine an appeal lodged by an opponent arguing that the mission is unconstitutional.
The Kenyan government has been strongly criticized for its decision to send police officers to Haiti, a highly unstable and dangerous country.
Human rights NGOs point out that the Kenyan police are accustomed to using force, sometimes lethal, against civilians, which constitutes a major risk in a country where previous foreign interventions have been marked by human rights violations.