By Ann Garrison, Black Agenda Report, August 2, 2023
It would be a bad look for the U.S. or a European nation to be the public face of the impending occupation of Haiti. That's why Kenya was asked to help the make case for a new invasion.
If African nations and most of all the African Union (AU) were to speak out against the pending “intervention” in Haiti, it would be far more difficult for the US and its allies to manufacture consent for it. Haiti’s population is 95% Black, so AU opposition would lay its racism bare.
The US and its allies are determined to achieve the opposite by giving the “intervention” a Black face. They are no doubt pressuring the AU to bless the aggression, and stooge leaders from Kenya and Rwanda have already promised to join a multilateral force to calm Haiti’s streets, even framing it as an expression of Pan African solidarity. On July 29, Dr. Alfred N. Mutua , Cabinet Secretary of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, announced Kenya’s plan on his Twitter page:
“At the request of Friends of Haiti Group of Nations, Kenya has accepted to positively consider leading a Multi-National Force to Haiti. Kenya's commitment is to deploy a contingent of 1,000 police officers to help train and assist Haitian police restore normalcy in the country and protect strategic installations. Kenya stands with persons of African descent across the world, including those in the Caribbean, and aligns with the African Union's diaspora policy and our own commitment to Pan Africanism, and in this case to “reclaiming of the Atlantic crossing.” Kenya's proposed deployment will crystallize once a mandate from the UN Security Council is obtained and other Kenyan constitutional processes are undertaken. An Assessment Mission by a Task Team of the Kenya Police is scheduled within the next few weeks. This assessment will inform and guide the mandate and operational requirements of the Mission.”
Last week, Rwandan President Paul Kagame arrived at a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit, where he, like Mutua, invoked Pan Africanism and the Middle Passage while declaring his readiness to join a force to “intervene” in Haiti. As Margaret Kimberley wrote, “When he arrived at the recent CARICOM summit it was clear that a terrible plot was being hatched.”
This will not be the first time Rwanda has sent police to Haiti. One hundred and forty arrived in the spring of 2010 and didn’t go home until August 2019 .
Policing Haiti is a natural and no doubt profitable extension of Kagame’s service as the West’s top cop on the African continent. Last year, in How Rwanda Became Africa’s Policeman ,” Foreign Policy reported:
“France, for instance, was publicly supportive of Rwanda’s involvement in northern Mozambique, where French oil and gas major TotalEnergies has a $20 billion liquified natural gas project, and French President Emmanuel Macron later provided $495 million in development aid to Rwanda. At a time when Western interventions in Africa are falling out of favor, as highlighted by France’s virtual eviction from Mali in August, the potential to use an African proxy for security missions has become increasingly appealing.”
The UN Security Council has to approve this multilateral force, and the willingness of two African nations—Kenya and Rwanda—to contribute forces gives it a Pan African veneer that may make it difficult for Russia and China to veto it.
I spoke to Dr. Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad, a Kenyan citizen in Nairobi, about Kenya’s offer to send 1000 police to Haiti in the name of Pan Africanism.
Ann Garrison: Dr. Abdiwahab, why is the Kenyan government, led by President William Ruto, so willing to lead a US-engineered, so-called "intervention" in Haiti?
Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad: I think he wants to raise Kenya’s status on the world stage and to demonstrate that he is a Pan Africanist who is very concerned about the problem of Black communities worldwide.
AG: But that's preposterous. Can he possibly believe that? No one's denying that this is a US project, and anyone with any consciousness of Black communities worldwide would know that Haiti has been under brutal occupation ever since the second US/French coup that overthrew President Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004.
ASA: There is a disconnect between Black communities in the Americas and Black communities in Africa. Unfortunately, most African leaders have no in-depth, historical understanding of imperialist subjugation and exploitation in Haiti and other Black communities in the Americas, so they become useful idiots. They trust any request from the UN, but you and I know what is going on in Haiti because we read and do research every day.
AG: Are many Kenyans aware that their government has offered to send 1000 police officers halfway round the world to Haiti? Is this being discussed in the Kenyan press?
ASA: I think most Kenyans aren’t even aware that our government has offered to send 1000 police officers to Haiti. I don’t see the major press debating this issue. It’s discussed only on Kenyan social media accounts.
AG: Kenya has its own severe problems. People’s Dispatch reports that Kenyan Police killed six protesters and arrested over 300 on July 19 in a violent crackdown on protests against the US-IMF-backed Finance Act 2023. What will those protesting in the streets say if they learn that these same police are being sent to Haiti?
People in the streets in Haiti say they know Kenya has its own problems , so they don’t know how Kenya can help Haiti.
ASA: To be honest with you, sending troops to Haiti is not a major issue here in Kenya, but the government sees it as an opportunity to raise the living standard of the police officers since they are getting hefty salaries from the United Nations, and to gain experience in that corner of the world. They don’t have sufficient knowledge of the reason for the conflict. Modern imperialists are succeeding in using African leaders against fellow Africans in Latin America. This is the sad situation, to be honest.
AG: Telesur reports that Kenya had to carry out some constitutional processes in order to provide police assistance to another country. Do you think there’s any chance that this could be stopped by these processes?
ASA: It seems unstoppable. Any hope of stopping it is very remote, unfortunately.
AG: Well, it can still be stopped in the UN Security Council. The US and Ecuador are introducing a resolution, and either Russia or China could veto it, as they’ve vetoed similar resolutions, not only about Haiti but also about other nations. However, the eagerness of two African nations to contribute forces will put more pressure on them to vote yes.
ASA: Sixty years of independence in Africa is far from total independence. The Western world is still remote-controlling most African leaders. Anyone who opposes their evil agendas will be removed in a matter of days, or perhaps be killed like Lumumba, Sankara, Gaddafi, and others. Most of the Sub-Saharan leaders are puppet governments for the West. They will even create economic crises with the help of the World Bank and IMF. They will not go against the wishes of their colonial masters on behalf of the people.
AG: Do you see any connections between this and what is happening in Niger?
ASA: Yes, of course. When Abdel Fattah el-Sisi overthrew Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected president of Egypt, in 2013, the West gave el-Sisi tacit support. They did the same when the Algerian military overthrew the democratically elected Islamic Salvation Front in 1992.
Now that Niger has done the same on behalf of the Nigerian people, France has convened an emergency gathering, and regional bodies like ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] turn into useful idiots and colonial waterboys supporting the Western status quo.
Why are the African home guards resistant to change? Even when Africans are struggling to be free from oppression? I wish it weren’t so.
AG: Well, at least we see a united front emerging between Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Niger. I don't know if it will be enough to stop the fury of the West, most of all the US and France, behind ECOWAS, but it’s inspiring.
ASA: Young generations of Africans are awake, and they realize that neocolonialists have been exploiting their countries without bringing tangible development for the last sixty years. Those in Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Niger have decided to defend their people and their dignity. Enough is enough.
Ann Garrison is a Black Agenda Report Contributing Editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, she received the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for her reporting on conflict in the African Great Lakes region. She can be reached at ann(at)anngarrison.com. Please help to support her work on Patreon .
Dr. Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad is a Somali Kenyan and Kenyan citizen. He is the Executive Director of the Institute for Horn of Africa Studies and a specialist in political science, conflict resolution, and rural development.
Posted August 7, 2023