'Much-needed relief': Kenyan police force arrives in Haiti for UN-backed security mission

The first wave of Kenyan police disembarked a plane at the Port-au-Prince airport in Haiti on Tuesday as part of a security mission backed – but not managed – by the UN to help restore order to the violence-wracked nation.

Kenyan police arrived in violence-ravaged Haiti on Tuesday on a long-awaited mission to help wrest the Caribbean nation from powerful gangs, just as deadly turmoil gripped Nairobi during mass protests.

Wearing camouflage uniforms, helmets and rifles, about 200 officers descended from a Kenya Airways plane on the tarmac in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. More are expected Thursday.

A total of some 2,500 personnel are anticipated, led by Kenya with contributions from a number of countries, mostly in Africa and the Caribbean, on a mission blessed but not managed by the United Nations.

US President Joe Biden, who has promised generous funding for the mission but ruled out sending American troops, hailed the arrival of the Kenyans as "beginning an effort that will bring much needed relief to Haitians."

"The people of Haiti deserve to feel safe in their homes, build better lives for their families and enjoy democratic freedoms," Biden said in a statement.

Kenyan President William Ruto had ceremonially seen the police off Monday in Nairobi, in what he described as a "historic" mission of solidarity.

But Kenya itself became engulfed in violence a day afterward, with protesters breaching parliament and a fire erupting at the governor's office.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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