The U.N. Security Council voted Monday to send a multinational force to Haiti led by Kenya to help combat violent gangs in the troubled Caribbean country.
The resolution drafted by the U.S. was approved with 13 votes in favor and two abstentions.
The resolution authorizes the force to deploy for one year, with a review after nine months. It would mark the first time a force is deployed to Haiti since a U.N.-approved mission nearly 20 years ago.
A deployment date has not been set, although U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken recently said a security mission to Haiti could deploy in months.
Gang in Haiti opens fire on parishioners marching with machetes aiming to get rid of criminals
Meanwhile, Kenyas foreign affairs minister, Alfred Mutua, told the BBC that the force should already be in Haiti by Jan. 1,
if not before then.
It wasnt immediately clear how big the force would be. Kenyas government has previously proposed sending 1,000 police officers. In addition, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Antigua and Barbuda also have pledged to send personnel.
Last month, the
of U.S. President Biden
promised to provide logistics and $100 million to support the Kenyan-led force.
International intervention in Haiti has a complicated history. A U.N.-approved stabilization mission to Haiti that started in June 2004 was marred by a sexual abuse scandal and the introduction of cholera. The mission ended in October 2017.
Gangs take control of Haiti as democracy withers
Critics of Monday’s approved Kenyan-led mission also have noted that police in the East African country have long been accused of using torture, deadly force and other abuses. Top Kenyan officials visited Haiti in August as part of a reconnaissance mission as the U.S. worked on a draft of the resolution.
The vote comes nearly a year after Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry and 18 top government officials requested the immediate deployment of a foreign armed force as the government struggled to control gangs amid a surge in killings, rapes and kidnappings.
1 until Aug. 15, more than 2,400 people in Haiti were reported killed, more than 950 kidnapped and an additional 902 injured, according to the most recent U.N. statistics.