Haiti - FLASH : Blinken uses the «nuclear option» and releases 109 million for the Kenyan Mission and the PNH - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7





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Haiti - FLASH : Blinken uses the «nuclear option» and releases 109 million for the Kenyan Mission and the PNH
19/06/2024 09:51:56

Haiti - FLASH : Blinken uses the «nuclear option» and releases 109 million for the Kenyan Mission and the PNH
After being blocked for months by Republicans from funding a security mission in Haiti, Secretary of State Antony Blinken ordered the State Department to release $109 million to help Kenyan special forces police officers deploy in Haiti and the Haitian National Police (PNH) to fight armed gangs.

Blinken's decision, known as the "nuclear option," reverses the Republican hold on funds, which delayed the mission's deployment. With Blinken's permission, there is now money to purchase equipment that a Kenyan security assessment team says is needed before officers arrive in Port-au-Prince.

On Capitol Hill, aides to two Republican lawmakers, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas and Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, questioned the plan. Lawmakers last month also lambasted President Joe Biden for authorizing a $60 million military aid package using so-called presidential withdrawal authority to put guns and ammunition into people's hands of the PNH https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-42270-haiti-flash-$60-million-of-american-military-equipment-for-the-mission-some-details.html and to help the led force by Kenya to deploy.

Despite these efforts, hopes of a deployment last month were dashed after a Kenyan assessment team, visiting Port-au-Prince to assess the country's readiness to receive the mission, said that there were not enough armored vehicles to move foreign troops, and a deficit of radios and communications equipment. The team also stressed the need to use helicopters to evacuate the injured. https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-42406-haiti-flash-new-delay-kenyan-forces-will-arrive-in-haiti-in-3-weeks.html

The State Department official said the $109 million will be used to cover equipment, and noted that the U.S. government has been able to provide additional armored vehicles and radios through various sources to address some issues raised and enable the mission to reach its full capacity and be sustained over time. Even if the mission is expected to include up to 2,500 men, the police will be deployed in stages.

Without providing details, the State Department official said the new funding "is essential to enable mission success and to enable the Haitian National Police to combat gang violence."

HL/ HaitiLibre

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