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Despite court ruling, Kenya’s Ruto insists Haiti mission will continue

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The Kenyan government plans to continue with plans to lead a United Nations-approved security mission to Haiti, despite a court in Nairobi last week blocking the deployment.

President William Ruto made the position known while speaking to journalists on Tuesday and stressed that Haiti had asked for help months ago, and he expected a request would come shortly that would satisfy the demands of the court.

Ruto, while speaking at the sidelines of the ongoing Italian-Africa summit in Rome, said, “So that mission can go ahead as soon as next week if all the paperwork is done between Kenya and Haiti on the bilateral route that has been suggested by the court.”

The international force, which is expected to be first funded by the United States, is intended to combat the widespread gang violence on the Caribbean island, which claimed almost 5,000 lives last year.

A Kenyan court determined that it would be unlawful to send police abroad unless a “reciprocal arrangement” was in place with the host government, casting doubt on the mission.

When asked if talks were taking on with Haiti to obtain the required request, Ruto said, “Absolutely. Haiti have actually written formally, not today, but several months ago.”

As gang violence increased in 2022, Haiti initially turned to outside assistance, but it was unable to identify a leader prepared to step up, and many foreign governments were reluctant to back the unelected government in the impoverished nation.

With a long history of participating in international peacekeeping missions, Kenya said in July that it was sending 1,000 police personnel, citing its support for a fellow country as justification.

Following the United States’ $200 million pledge to launch the deployment, the Bahamas, Antigua & Barbuda, and Jamaica declared their willingness to assist.

“The mission is on course. The mission is a bigger calling to humanity,” Ruto said, stressing that it was a police rather than a military operation.

Musings From Abroad

US keen on expanding bilateral trade with Nigeria

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According to the US Consulate in Nigeria, it is looking for ways to guarantee prosperity for Nigeria by increasing bilateral trade and investment.

 

The Consulate, in a statement, maintained it was looking for ways to develop bilateral investment and trade as well as guarantee prosperity between the US and Nigeria.

 

Mike Ervin, the chief of the Political and Economic Section of the US Consulate in Lagos made this statement on Wednesday during a working visit to the governor of Abia State, Alex Otti, on Wednesday,

 

He noted that the consulate covers the 17 southern states of Nigeria; hence its mission “to expand bilateral trade and investment and ensure prosperity between the United States and Nigeria”.

 

“In the US consulate in Lagos, we cover the 17 southern states and our top job more than any other is to seek ways to expand bilateral trade and investment and expand shared prosperity between our people.

 

“Our people share a long history of partnership and that was highlighted by the visit of our Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkin, in Nigeria a couple of weeks ago, where he spoke eloquently and strongly on the significance and importance of US-Nigeria bilateral relationship. And our desire is to seek ways of expanding that relationship to build prosperity for our people,” he stated.

 

The petroleum/mining and wholesale trade industries account for the majority of foreign direct investment from the United States, which is the country that invests in Nigeria the most. The value of goods traded both ways in 2022 between the US and Nigeria exceeded $8.1 billion.

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Musings From Abroad

UN sanctions six Congolese rebels over crisis in its eastern region

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Six members of five armed organisations in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council as violence between the Congolese army and M23 Tutsi-led rebels, who are backed by Rwanda, has escalated.

 

The fighting in this decades-long battle has made it more likely that Rwanda and Congo could go to war, which might draw in armies from nearby countries like South Africa, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi.

 

The Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, told a meeting of the 15-member Security Council that “The United States firmly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC and lasting peace for all Congolese people. Rwanda and the DRC must walk back from the brink of war.”

A travel ban, asset freeze, and arms embargo were placed on two leaders of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), one commander of the Twirwaneho armed organisation, and one leader of the National People’s Coalition for the Sovereignty of Congo (CNPSC) rebels by the Security Council’s DRC sanctions committee.

The military spokesman for the M23 Tutsi-led rebels, allegedly backed by Rwanda, and a leader of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an organisation started by Hutus who left Rwanda after participating in the 1994 genocide that killed over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were also placed on the UN list.

“These individuals are responsible for numerous abuses,” Wood said of the six sanctioned individuals.

After replacing a previous U.N. operation in 2010 to aid in reducing insecurity in the country’s east, Congo has been home to a UN peacekeeping force known as MONUSCO for more than 13 years.

Felix Tshisekedi, the president of the Congo, requested in September that the peacekeepers’ withdrawal be expedited, and the UN Security Council granted his request, allowing the deployment to terminate in December.

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