Court declares deployment of Kenyan police to Haiti illegal

Court declares deployment of Kenyan police to Haiti illegal

File image of a pass-out parade for the General Service Unit (GSU) at the Embakasi Training College. PHOTO| COURTESY

The High Court has declared the planned deployment of Kenyan police officers to the Caribbean nation of Haiti as illegal.

In a ruling delivered on Friday, Justice Chacha Mwita said the National Security Council has no mandate to deploy police officers to another country.

 "any decision by any state organ or state officer to deploy police officers to Haiti... contravenes the constitution and the law and is therefore unconstitutional, illegal and invalid."

"An order is hereby issued prohibiting deployment of police forces to Haiti or any other country," he said.

The National Security Council, in October last year, petitioned Parliament to approve the deployment of Kenyan police officers on a UN-backed security mission to war-torn Haiti. The National Assembly has since approved the deployment.

On its part, the National Security Council already okayed the proposed deployment but in line with Article 240 (8) of the Constitution, Parliament had to approve any deployment of national security forces outside the country.

Article 240 (8) stipulates: "The Council may, with the approval of Parliament, (a) deploy national forces outside Kenya for (i) regional or international peace support operations; or (ii) other support operations;  (b) approve the deployment of foreign forces in Kenya.”

The approval by Parliament came amid a High Court order temporarily blocking the planned deployment pending the hearing of a petition filed by Third-way Alliance Kenya leader Ekuru Aukot and two other petitioners.

In the petition, Dr Aukot argues that the Constitution does not envisage the deployment of the police service outside Kenya, adding that deployment of police officers or the forces outside Kenya is a matter of great public interest and importance and can only be done in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. 

Kenya has pledged to deploy 1,000 security personnel for the mission seeking to combat a decades-long gang violence characterized by widespread murders, kidnappings and extortion.

The UN Security Council gave the go-ahead in early October for the deployment of a multi-national security support mission, led by Kenya, to help the overwhelmed Haitian police.




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