Human rights lawyers from both Kenya and Haiti are seeking to block the deployment of 1,000 Kenyan military personnel to serve as a police force in Haiti under a plan backed by and financed by the United States.
Haitian American human rights attorney Ezili Danto and the Miami-based Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network filed a lawsuit in the High Court of Port Au Prince on November 6 to block the deployment of 1,000 Kenyan soldiers to serve as Haitian police in the island nation’s continuing crisis caused primarily by repeated U.S. intervention and a number of natural disasters.
More than 200 “gangs” reportedly have gained control of the street life of the nation and are able to outgun and outbribe the governing authorities in this long-troubled country.
At the bidding of U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Kenya President William Ruto agreed to supply at least 1,000 troops for the excursion into Haiti with the U.S. providing $100 million to defray the costs. Kenya’s Defense Minister Aden Duale signed the accord in Nairobi on Sept. 25. Kenya has played the same role in Kosovo, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in recent years.
The U.N. Security Council resolution, drafted by the United States and Ecuador, authorizes the force to deploy for one year with a review after nine months.
Ekuru Aukot, a member of the Kenyan opposition and Ruto’s challenger in the last national election, filed a petition on Oct. 9 against the deployment, arguing that the law allowing the president to do so conflicted with articles of the constitution.
Kenya’s High Court extended an order on Oct. 24 that will prevent the government from deploying these troops before a court hearing on its constitutionality scheduled for January 26, 2024.
The Haitian American legal team’s lawsuit argues that the Haitian Government’s — under the behest of the “unelected” Ariel Henry — request for foreign troops to be deployed in Haiti is in violation of the nation’s constitution and sovereignty.
“(Acting Prime Minister) Ariel Henry and his government are not duly elected and have no constitutional mandate or legal capacity to request foreign troops on Haitian soil,” Danto says. “This is a high crime under the Haitian Constitution.”
“The Haitian Constitution prohibits the existence of another nation’s Armed Corps on Haiti’s national territory,” she said.
“Haiti has had more than 10 different international interventions in the last decades,” she said. “Each brought more disenfranchisement for the Haitian people, left more arms, more violence, and more human rights violations, including contaminated U.N. soldiers killing more than 10,000 Haitians with cholera, poisoning Haiti’s waterways, and making three million Haitians sick. Yet, no reparations have ever been made for these international crimes.
“The Prime Minister has no powers other than those conferred on him by the Constitution,” Danto points out. “His request for foreign troops is a systematic and flagrant violation of the Constitution by the one who is responsible for ensuring its respect, and it constitutes a crime of high treason, which is punishable by the penalty of forced labor for life.”
Henry assumed control of the government following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021. Revolts broke out in towns and urban centers all across Haiti and have never subsided. The neighborhood security forces that are too loosely referred to as “gangs” continue to defend their own territories.
Henry appealed to the U.N. Security Council for military assistance in August 2023. Thirteen members of the 15-member Security Council supported the deployment of a multinational peacekeeping force in response to Haiti’s call for help. Only China and Russia, each holding a potential veto over Security Council decisions, abstained. Kenya pledged 1,000 troops to assume the role of “police” in Haiti, with a scattering of volunteer troops from Haiti’s Caribbean neighbors from the Bahamas, Jamaica, Antigua, and Barbuda.
Henry was widely held to be complicit in the assassination of Moise, the New York Times reported January 10, 2022.
Kenya Troops preparing to be sent to Haiti as “police” though both Kenyan and Haitian constitutions bar using their nation’s troops for foreign governments. (Photo: Haitian Times)
BLACK TRAUMA PORN
Danto denounces what a number of Black critics now call “Black trauma porn.”
“Black trauma porn means showing excessive amounts of Black pain and trauma for entertainment value,” she said.“ Black trauma porn is made especially viral by Western journalists since the Jovenel Moise murder, a narrative they’d left alone a bit after the Clinton-Obama-U.N. quake thievery. But now, they’re back to turn Black pain and suffering to entertain a white audience who will gleefully tell you how many Haitians were killed in July 2022 but never how many tens of thousands went to have fun at the Ogou pilgrimage.”
Haiti has long been hailed as the beacon of freedom for all colonized and enslaved people, especially African descendants of slavery. It was the first nation to overthrow slavery and establish itself as a free republic in 1804. Ever since then, France, in collusion with the U.S. and Great Britain, has forced Haiti to repay the French for their presumed property losses in the Haitian Revolution. Despite being the home of enormous oil reserves, large gold deposits, and the second largest store of nearly priceless iridium after South Africa, Haiti somehow is always referred to as “the poorest country in the western hemisphere.”
French scientists Daniel and Ginette Mathurin have disclosed that Haiti has oil fields much larger than those of Venezuela, at least a hundred billion dollars in gold deposits, and the second largest amount of iridium. The United States has declared Haiti’s oil fields to be the strategic reserves of the United States, however, and bars Haiti from its legitimate ownership claim.
With a price of about $4,900 per troy ounce in March 2022, iridium is more valuable than gold, silver, or platinum. Haiti and South Africa are the two countries containing the most iridium.
The international charities are in Haiti to deal with the symptoms of the problems and not with the roots, Danto said.
“No matter how good the NGOs and charities are, no matter how good their intentions, we’re talking about an occupation,” Danto said. “We’re talking about imperialism. We’re talking about the people of Haiti being disenfranchised by fake elections – one that’s going on in the U.N. right now on behalf of the United States and its European allies. Will the aid they bring in do any good? Do the people who need it get it?
“I think $13.3 billion was raised after the earthquake. Less than one percent of that went to the Haitian government and the people of Haiti. Most of the money went back to the NGOs as high salaries for the staff, the managers, and the CEOs.
“Foreign aid cripples most of the African nations. I think you already know that the statistics say that the World Bank puts out a lot of loans, but the corporate plunder is greater than the aid they give to the Black nations of the Global South.
“The Red Cross raised possibly a half-billion dollars after the earthquake and only built 7 homes and left no infrastructure, and we need clean water. Just clean water, they could have at least given us that with the $13.3 billion that was raised. Because the U.N. brought us cholera, which has killed over 10,000 Haitians and made more than 3 million sick. So, we don’t even have clean water. What do these 42,000 NGO’s have to show except the fact that they are used as a smokescreen?
“When you have no clean water, no healthcare, no infrastructure,” says Danto, “those are all symptoms of a greater problem in Haiti, and that greater problem is imperialism. That greater problem is debt dependency and domination that Haiti has had to deal with since it became the first free republic ruled by Black people in 1804. Haiti cannot be developed by charity. If anyone wants to help Haiti, you need to help us get rid of the U.S. occupation hidden by U.N. mercenary guns, fake aid, fake elections, fake charity. That’s what we want as Haitians. My organization, the Ezili D’lo network, started giving clean water. It’s a very tiny project, but it’s Haiti run, Haiti-led, and it transfers skills without a middleman. Those are the types of projects that people who are interested in helping Haiti can do.
“Assist an indigenous Haiti-led, Haiti capacity-building organization. Not an organization that’s building up the capacity of the NGOs.”