Written by 12:11 World

Biden Honors Kenya as the East African Nation Prepares to Send Forces to Haiti

President Biden suggested on Thursday that the decision to have Kenya lead a security mission in Haiti, without troops from the United States on the ground, was meant to avoid the fraught history of American intervention in the deeply troubled country.

Mr. Biden said the United States would contribute money, logistical support and equipment as Kenya and other nations try to quell the gang violence that erupted there after the assassination of the country’s president in 2021. But in response to a question about why American troops will not participate, Mr. Biden alluded to previous U.S. interventions there.

“We concluded that for the United States to deploy forces in the hemisphere just raises all kinds of questions that can be easily misrepresented by what we’re trying to do,” he said during a news conference at the White House with President William Ruto of Kenya.

“We’re in a situation where we want to do all we can without looking like America, once again, is stepping over and deciding this is what must be done,” he added.

The history of American involvement in Haiti is a difficult one that includes a decades-long occupation, from 1915 to 1934, that left deep resentments among people on the island. American troops again landed on Haiti in 1994, following a military coup, a mission that left more Haitians embittered.

The issue is also sensitive in Kenya, where some have criticized Mr. Ruto for paying too much attention to a crisis overseas while problems persist at home. Mr. Ruto dismissed a question about that issue from a Kenyan reporter during the news conference.

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Last modified: 24 May 2024
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