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A group of Haitian nationals living in the United States demonstrated outside Kenya’s embassy in the USA on Thursday.

The Haitians protested against President William Ruto’s decision to send a thousand troops on a peacekeeping mission to their conflict-ridden country. The demonstrators held placards directed at Kenya’s head of state, demanding that Ruto cancel his planned deployment to Haiti.

As they marched around the Kenyan embassy in the US, the vocal protestors chanted President Ruto’s name, urging him to reverse the decision to deploy Kenyan troops to Haiti. They accused the US government of provoking gang violence in Haiti and criticized America for backing a peacekeeping mission in the country.

“What Ruto is about to do is invade Haiti. Haitians say no to occupation,” the protestors expressed their frustration over the impending deployment. The protests took place shortly after President Ruto and US President Joe Biden held a joint press conference to affirm their commitment to ending violence in Haiti.

Addressing the deployment, Ruto stated that the mission was sanctioned by Kenyans, not the US, and that Kenya was ready to assist Haitians in overcoming gang violence.

“Kenya’s participation in Haiti is not about past events. The USA cannot commit Kenya to Haiti. It is we, the people of Kenya, who made this decision,” Ruto declared. Joe Biden clarified that the US could not directly engage in the mission as it could have been misinterpreted, and thus, it encouraged Kenya to help end the violence in the Caribbean nation.

“We concluded that if the US deploys its forces to the northern hemisphere, it raises all kinds of questions that can be easily misrepresented by what is happening in Haiti,” Biden explained.

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