NAIROBI (Reuters) – A Kenyan court extended on Tuesday a temporary order barring the government from deploying hundreds of police officers to Haiti in a U.N.-approved mission aimed at helping the Caribbean nation tackle gang violence, a lawyer who filed the case said.
Following an appeal for assistance from Haiti, Kenya in July offered to send 1,000 officers to help restore security amid a worsening crisis in which gangs have forced around 200,000 people to flee their homes.
But the plan was temporarily put on hold by a court order issued after a petition was brought by the small opposition party Thirdway Alliance, arguing the decision to deploy officers abroad was illegal.
The Kenyan government has said it will seek parliament’s approval before the officers are deployed.
“The court has extended the interim orders stopping the deployment of Kenya police to Haiti until the petition is determined,” said lawyer Ekuru Aukot, who is also Thirdway’s leader. The original order expired on Tuesday.
The case will continue on Nov. 9, Aukot wrote on X.
The head of Haiti’s democratic transition council on Monday called for swifter action on the plan to deploy foreign troops.
A comprehensive U.N. report on Haiti issued last week painted a bleak picture of the situation in the country, saying gangs were getting stronger, richer and better armed.
It said the gangs frequently use rape to terrorise and extort victims, demand money and control food supplies. They also carry out indiscriminate killings and kidnappings for ransom.
(Reporting by Humphrey Malalo; Writing by Hereward Holland; Editing by George Obulutsa, Estelle Shirbon and Alison Williams)