On Sep. 25, 2023, in Nairobi, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signed a five-year deal with Kenya’s Defense Minister Aden Duale in which Washington will give money, weapons, and training to the East African country to work as its proxy in Africa and Latin America.
“Signing the framework for defense cooperation between our two countries today reinforces the importance of our strategic partnership with Kenya, and it will help guide our bilateral defense relationship for the next five years,” Austin said after the signing.
According to the Pentagon’s press report on the meeting, “Austin specifically noted Kenya’s partnership with the U.S. in countering al-Shabab, an Islamist militant group based in neighboring Somalia.”
Duale emphasized that the deal will bring “interoperability and opens avenues for enhanced cooperation on defense technology and innovation,” according to the Pentagon’s readout, and he trumpeted “the strong, enduring partnership between Kenya and the United States.”
The deal comes as Kenya prepares to lead a foreign military intervention into Haiti, even before the UN Security Council has voted on whether to approve such a force. The UNSC has been vigorously debating the matter since last October. The Biden administration pledged that it would raise $100 million for the force on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last week.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urged the UNSC to bless the force – although it would not be under the body’s control and oversight – saying it would be ready to deploy “in months” and that Washington would supply “robust financial and logistical assistance.”
The Kenyan police are notoriously corrupt and brutal. Just in July, the UN itself stated that it was “very concerned” about extreme, deadly police violence against demonstrators protesting tax hikes. On Sep. 26, the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) issued a report entitled “Kenya: Police Use Excessive Force in Response to Anti-Government Demonstrations,” in which it reported: “The July protests were violently repressed by the police as state forces declared the protests illegal and a threat to national security. These incidents have included mass arrests of protestors, incarceration of Azimio leaders, property destruction, use of teargas, batons, water, and cannons, as well as live bullets that caused injuries and loss of life.”
In its last paragraph, ACLED’s researcher Caleb Wafula writes: “Kenya recently signed an agreement with Haiti, that will see the deployment of 1,000 police officers who will head a multinational police force in addressing gang violence in the Caribbean nation. However, the increasing police brutality in Kenya necessitates a thorough reassessment of the measures and tactics utilized by security agents.”
Other countries that have agreed to contribute troops to the proposed Haiti intervention are Jamaica, Bahamas, Mongolia, Senegal, Belize, Guatemala, Peru, Italy, Antigua and Barbuda, Suriname, and Spain.
Meanwhile, the Communist Party of Kenya put out a searing statement on their nation’s participation in the Washington-organized intervention. We reproduce the full text below:
The Communist Party of Kenya strongly condemns their nation’s involvement in the impending occupation of Haiti.
The Communist Party of Kenya demands that the Kenya Kwanza government rescind their proposal to send 1,000 police to Haiti, while calling on the Kenyan people to join the Haitian masses and popular progressive forces worldwide in opposing the intervention, continued occupation and neo-colonial governance of Haiti by the Core Group and the UN.
The Central Organizing Committee of the Communist Party of Kenya, expresses deep concern regarding the proposed deal between the USA and the Kenyan Government. It is with great displeasure and utmost frustration that we are forced to witness Kenya allowing itself to be recruited into the imperialist activities of the United States, the Core Group and United Nations. The reported plan of involving Kenyan police to carry out actions on behalf of the USA government in Haiti raises serious ethical and moral questions. In its efforts to endear itself to the systems of power that underpin Western hegemony, Kenya is providing legitimacy for a long-standing series of interventions into Haiti that seek to undermine the aspirations of the Haitian people.
Kenya’s motive to send a small contingent of police officers to Haiti is not to solve the so-called problems of insecurity that beset Haiti. Just as it has been done in the past through recruitment of Caribbean and African countries, it is to prevent accusations of racism and oppressive grip of Western foreign powers by having third-world nations give their support for the exploitation of Haiti. “If there is a humanitarian crisis, the response cannot be to send in foreign troops. The countries that today are the first to bemoan the control of Haiti by the various gangs are the first to have sponsored these same kingpins in other times, such as in Afghanistan during the time of the Mujahedin or in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq against Iran.”
The Communist Party of Kenya firmly rejects any form of neocolonialism and condemns attempts to use a Black face to brutalize Haiti or any other nation by the members of the Core Group, including representatives of the United Nations, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the European Union, the United States, and the Organization of American States. The party recognizes the systems of maintaining a neo-colonial agenda in Haiti, or as dubbed in popular Haitian lingua, “Sistèm nan” (The System).
We vehemently stand with the exploited Haitian population and oppose any western led interventions or involvement whatsoever in Haiti. By agreeing to send troops into Haiti, the Kenyan government is diminishing the sovereignty and self-determination of Haitian people, while preserving the neo-colonial interests of the United States, the Core Group and the United Nations. Imperialism, historically rooted in exploitation and subjugation, has caused immense suffering across continents. Similarly, the USA’s rise to power was significantly fueled by the enslavement of millions of African people, whose labor laid the foundation for its economic prosperity. The echoes of this dark past continue to resonate in various forms of systemic racial and social inequalities that persist in the USA today.
As the Central Organizing Committee of the Communist Party of Kenya, we address the historical injustices perpetrated by both Europe and the USA. Europe’s wealth and development have, in large part, been built on the stolen resources and exploitation of the global South during colonial times. As advocates of anti-imperialism, we must acknowledge and condemn the historical actions of both Europe and the USA that have contributed to the global inequities we face. Our commitment to a just and equitable world demands that we confront and challenge the oppressive legacies of these colonial and enslavement practices.
The party denounces and urges parliament to intervene in the actions being undertaken by the current administration. Exploiting vulnerable Kenyans for any purpose is unacceptable. President Ruto’s actions in this regard must be rejected, and the government’s focus should be on empowering its citizens, not auctioning them to willing buyers. Our commitment lies in advocating for policies that uplift the marginalized and create a fair and just society, addressing root causes of societal issues, including land problems and the need for investment in industries to create jobs and improve lives. Furthermore, there must be rigorous discourse in the public sphere with parliament engaging with the masses before such unilateral actions are undertaken. Of course, we recognize that this was done specifically without public involvement as the masses would readily recognize the actions for what they are, efforts to sabotage Haiti’s sovereignty, utilization of state instruments in the continual subjugation of the oppressed Haitian people and disruption of Pan-Africanism solidarity. We must therefore, intensify the struggle from below, emphasizing grassroots movements and collective action to bring about transformative change.
Moving forward, we stand resolute in our pursuit of justice and the dismantling of imperialist structures that perpetuate global exploitation and subjugation. We call on all revolutionary forces, people’s movements and organizations across the globe to unite in the struggle for a future that respects the sovereignty of nations, upholds human rights, and ensures the welfare of all people, regardless of their geographic location. The Communist Party of Kenya reaffirms our unwavering commitment to the principles of peace, justice, and sovereignty in Haiti.
Long live the struggles of Haitian People!
Long Live free, liberated Haiti!
Long live the struggle for justice and liberation!
In solidarity with the oppressed peoples of the world
Source: Haiti Liberté
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