Biden Hopes Kenyan Police Will Stabilize Haiti as Chaos Erupts in Nairobi

Proposed reforms to tax laws triggered massive protests in the Kenyan capital, leading to numerous deaths

As the first wave of Kenyan police arrived in Haiti on a mission to restore order, security forces in Nairobi opened fire on protesters, leaving at least five dead.

On Tuesday, armed Kenyan police arrived in Haiti for a US-supported mission aimed at taking power from gangs and handing it back to the Washington-installed government in Port-au-Prince. President Biden celebrated their arrival in a statement published by the White House.

“With strong support from the US, Kenyan forces part of the Multinational Security Support mission arrived in Haiti, beginning an effort that will bring much needed relief to Haitians,” it said. “This mission will support the Haitian National Police as they increase their anti-gang operations.”

Washington got the approval from the UN Security Council to deploy the Kenyan troops to Haiti last year. UN peacekeepers have a dark history in Haiti, including creating a cholera outbreak that killed 10,000. Additionally, the previous multinational force deployed to Haiti committed rampant sexual assault against Haitian women.

The White House claims the current mission has “important accountability and oversight measures.” The State Department Human Rights Report on Kenya identified numerous crimes committed by Nairobi’s security forces.

Kenyans have been in the streets for weeks in opposition to a proposed tax hike of 16% on bread and 25% on cooking oil. On Tuesday, clashes erupted between protesters and police after the tax increase was passed.

Protesters broke through police lines and stormed the parliament building, which was partially set ablaze. Police opened fire on the rioters, killing five. Security forces also deployed less-lethal crowd control weapons, leading to injuries. The half-sister of former President Barack Obama was tear-gassed.

Kenyan President William Ruto denounced the protesters as an “existential threat to our republic” and said their actions were “treasonous.” He said he deployed the military across the country to restore order.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.