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Biden to make Kenya a major non-NATO ally as country delays armed deployment in Haiti

  • June 5, 2024
  • 5 Min
  • 11
biden-to-make-kenya-a-major-non-nato-ally-as-country-delays-armed-deployment-in-haiti
President Ruto with President Biden

President Joe Biden announced that the United States would make Kenya a major non-NATO ally (MNNA) during President William Ruto’s visit to Washington. Countries that become major non-NATO allies benefit from greater access to American training, weapons and technology. In exchange for Mr. Ruto’s agreement to send Kenyan forces to Haiti, Mr. Biden offered Nairobi an improvement in its military relations.

On Thursday, Mr. Biden informed Congress of his intention to make Kenya the 19th MNNA. “ Kenya is one of the U.S. government’s principal counterterrorism and security partners in sub-Saharan Africa.indicates the letter sent by the White House to Congress. “This designation will demonstrate that the United States views African contributions to global peace and security as equivalent to those of our key non-NATO allies in other regions. »

Becoming an MMA will significantly strengthen military ties between Kenya and the United States. Nairobi will have access to cutting-edge American weapons, training and technology. These weapons include depleted uranium anti-tank munitions.

The State Department’s Human Rights in Kenya 2023 report finds that government forces have engaged in significant and reprehensible acts of “arbitrary or unlawful killings, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, acts of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment inflicted by the government. The report notes that Nairobi did not improve its human rights practices last year.

Nevertheless, the Biden administration strengthened its military relations with Nariobi in order to encourage the Kenyan government to send its troops to Haiti. Washington hopes Kenyan armed forces will restore order to the U.S.-backed government in Port-au-Prince.

A thousand Kenyan soldiers were expected to arrive in Haiti on the occasion of Mr. Ruto’s meeting with Mr. Biden. However, according to Reuters, this deployment has been delayed without a precise timetable being established. The reason for the delay is unclear, but one source said conditions in Port-au-Prince were not conducive to receiving the armed men.

The government in Port-au-Prince, set up by Washington, supports the deployment, but Haitians oppose sending armed foreign troops. Haitian citizens protested the government’s plan.

Paramilitary groups prevented former Prime Minister Ariel Henry from returning to Port-au-Prince after he signed a pact with Ruto, allowing the deployment of Kenyan troops. While Mr. Henry was forced to resign, Washington facilitated the transition to a new government that also supports Kenyan troops fighting to take control of the country.

*Kyle Anzalone is editor-in-chief of the Libertarian Institute, editor-in-chief of Antiwar.com, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

Africa Asia May 31, 2024

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Kyle Anzalone