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Kenyan-led police arrive in Haiti to push back gangs

Kenyan-led police arrive in Haiti to push back gangs

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A first contingent of 400 Kenyan police officers arrived in Haiti on Tuesday morning, more than 18 months after then-Prime Minister Ariel Henry first asked the United Nations to send a force of security to restore order in this violence. -tormented nation.

The force’s goal: to take back the country from the heavily armed gangs that control more than 80 percent of the capital, inflicting the worst violence it has seen in decades, and allow authorities to hold new elections for president and National Assembly.

“You are undertaking a vital mission that transcends borders and cultures,” Kenyan President William Ruto told officials on Monday. “Their presence in Haiti will bring hope and relief to communities torn by violence and devastated by lawlessness.”

This Caribbean nation of 12 million people, beset by political corruption, gang violence, natural disasters and poverty, has suffered a long history of foreign interventions. Many have done more to destabilize the country than to restore order. Officials have promised that this mission, which could grow to 2,500 agents, will not repeat those mistakes. Critics are skeptical.

Here’s what you need to know.