A Carte Blanche for the Black Masks

The Battle between Kenyan Cops and the Haitian People is About to Begin

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A battalion of 400 Kenyan cops arrived in Haiti on Jun. 25 to begin the Multinational Security Support Mission (MMSS), concocted and funded by Washington.

(Français)

Under the auspices and at the headquarters of Washington’s Ministry of Colonial Affairs, also known as the Organization of American States (OAS), Gandy Thomas, Haiti’s Acting Ambassador to the OAS, and Lazarus O. Amayo, Kenya’s Ambassador to the U.S., on Fri., Jun. 21, 2024 signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which define the parameters of the Multinational Security Support Mission (MMSS). Kenyan officers will pose as the MMSS commanders, although they in fact will be following the orders and direction of their sponsor, Washington.

The SOFA’s main purpose is to shield the U.S. proxy force soldiers from any prosecution for the crimes they will most surely commit in the coming days, as they try to snuff out Haitian resistance to their illegal deployment in Haiti.

“All MMSS personnel, including locally recruited personnel, enjoy immunity from legal process for all acts performed in the exercise of their official functions (including their words and writings),” the SOFA states (our emphasis). “This immunity continues to be in effect even when they are no longer members of the personnel or employed by the Mission and after the other provisions of this Agreement have expired.”

In other words, the MMSS might drop bombs on densely packed slum neighborhoods, machine-gun protestors, poison waterways and lakes with sewage and chemicals, or rape young Haitian boys and girls, but there won’t be a damn thing the Haitian people can do about it… legally.

After all, the MMSS’s immunity provision has almost the exact same wording as that of the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH), which did all of the above when it occupied Haiti from 2004 to 2017.

MINUSTAH troops, which occupied Haiti from 2004 to 2017, had practically the same SOFA agreement as the MMSS

As a result, when Nepalese MINUSTAH troops carelessly let their cholera-laced sewage leak into the headwaters of the Artibonite River in late 2010, the UN at first tried to minimize and cover-up the criminal negligence. That helped worsen a decade-long cholera epidemic (Haiti’s first), which killed over 10,000 Haitians and sickened close to one million.

Lawyers for Haitian victims sought reparations for the cholera epidemic, first through the UN system and then in U.S. courts, but they got nowhere. The UN’s “immunity” (Haitians say “impunity”) was defended tooth-and-nail by Washington’s legal teams.

Likewise, the Brazilian troops which firebombed Cité Soleil and shot to death many demonstrators, the Sri Lankan and Uruguayan troops who raped children all went unprosecuted in Haiti, like many other crimes committed by MINUSTAH forces.

Meanwhile, a battalion of 400 white-helmeted Kenyans finally landed in Haiti on Tue., Jun. 25, despite a high court order last January prohibiting their deployment. The MMSS’s Kenyan contingent is supposed to finally be some 1,000 officers, complemented by smaller numbers from Benin, Tchad, Senegal, Burundi, Chile, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Barbados, Ecuador, and the Seychelles for a total of around 2,600.

The same day, thousands of Kenyans stormed the Parliament in Nairobi, the latest highwater mark in months of massive demonstrations against the slashing of fuel subsidies and proposed tax hikes of $2.7 billion, all so that Kenya can continue to pay the IMF interest on its crushing $48 billion debt that it will never be able to pay off. Protest leaders have been abducted, and at least two demonstrators are confirmed killed by cops in recent days.

Kenyan police are the most brutal and corrupt in all of Africa, say many human rights groups and even UN Special Rapporteurs over many years. They run their own death-squads, and less than a year ago, in July 2023, the UN Human Rights Office said it “is very concerned by the widespread violence, and allegations of unnecessary or disproportionate use of force, including the use of firearms, by police during protests in Kenya. Reports say up to 23 people have been killed and dozens injured in the demonstrations in the past week.”

Other documents governing the MMSS, like the Conception of Operations (CONOPS) and the Rules of Engagement have still not been released, despite being finalized.

“They are trying to keep a lot of things secret,” an anonymous source in the United Nations Office in Haiti (BINUH) told Haïti Liberté. “That’s been the problem with the whole plan.”

As the Kenyans were arriving in Haiti, a psychological operation was launched on Jun. 25 against the Viv Ansanm (Live Together) alliance of Haiti’s armed neighborhood committees. In an anonymous audio recording distributed on Haitian social media, a man claims that Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier had fled his lower Delmas neighborhood and gone into hiding.

“I’m under stress, man,” says the man in the recording. “I’ve been calling and calling all morning, trying to find General Barbecue, but he seems to have fled lower Delmas…”

“It’s the voice of someone who put out that message in an effort to destabilize the Viv Ansanm alliance,” Cherizier told Haïti Liberté when asked about the recording. At that moment, Cherizier was driving a jeep on Ruelle Maillart next to his neighborhood. “By saying that I had fled, he’s trying to make the other guys in Viv Ansanm flee. It’s an effort to destabilize us.”

Some, mostly anonymous, accounts on social media, have suggested that the Viv Ansanm alliance will disperse or plead to make a deal with the Conille government. The daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste ran a headline “Jimmy Chérizier dit Barbecue veut dialoguer.” (Jimmy Cherizier says he wants to negotiate.)

Cherizier responded at length to such charges in a long Jun. 25 interview with journalist Ralph Laurent on his widely followed YouTube program Tanbou Verité.

Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier: “The Kenyans are protecting the interests of the American oligarchs. That’s why they brought them here.” Photo: Uncaptured Media

“I tell the Haitian people to keep their strength. Haiti will not remain dominated for all time. One day, the Haitian people will carry out their liberation so Haiti can take the path of development.

“People that have military or police training know that there is never an eternal war. Russia is fighting with Ukraine, but sometimes there are negotiations and diplomacy to see how they can find peace. In the same way, we in the Viv Ansanm are patriots and nationalists who love this country, contrary to what some people think. People can always decry many errors which were made, acts which perturbed the society. And that is why I – I don’t need people to praise me – but one day this nation will know the sacrifices I have made for it, because each day I struggle with the Viv Ansanm guys, telling them: ‘if you say you want to make a revolution, to see the country develop, if you are fighting to improve the conditions of the poorest people, there are a number of acts which you should not commit.’

“Some people will note that in recent days, the rate of kidnapping has decreased – I don’t say that kidnapping has stopped – but that is the fruit of the work that Jimmy Cherizier has carried out. It is not the state or the police which have put a structure in place to have kidnapping decline. That’s the result of our work, where among ourselves in Viv Ansanm we talk, and now a number of things which used to be done are no longer done.

“Now when Le Nouvelliste says Jimmy Cherizier wants to dialogue, I have always been open to dialogue. Some journalists… say that we are scared. We’re scared of nobody. We’re [Haitian founding father Jean-Jacques] Dessalines’ children… But if we can avoid a bloodbath, we’ll see what we can do to avoid it. Because people are dying too much and victim too much in the country. The more we can sit and talk, we’ll sit and talk.

“Haiti has always been the mother of liberty. Those guys are trampling the soil of liberty. There is an army of young men and young women who are ready to fight to their last drop of blood to liberate Haiti.”

“But Viv Ansanm, in general, especially Jimmy Cherizier ‘Barbecue,’ has made no personal initiative to speak with anybody in the government. I take this occasion to denounce a number of opportunists, guys who want a job from [Prime Minister] Garry Conille, who go around to all the hotels saying they have met and spoken with us and we sent them to negotiate for us… Officially, Viv Ansanm, Jimmy Cherizier, has not undertaken any negotiations with the Conille government… But we are open to dialogue… Conille could create a commission which has everybody in it: the protestant and Catholic churches, vodouisants, Civil society, the representatives of armed groups, government representatives, representatives of the police and army. Together we could dialogue and see how we could silence the guns, and when a real trust is established [that could happen]… [but] nobody should take us for little babies who they put to sleep so we put down our guns and they take them and then kill us…

“History is repeating itself here… The oligarchs together with the traditional politicians led a battle against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004, where they used the poor neighborhoods and politicians to destabilize the Aristide government. When they saw that didn’t work, the United States had to step in and take Aristide out of the country.

“Now the oligarchs who put arms in the poor neighborhoods lost control of the guns. When they lost that control, there began to be violence in the country, kidnapping, people were dying. Those same oligarchs with the U.S. brought MINUSTAH into Haiti. When MINUSTAH came in, many saw it as a savior. But when MINUSTAH came, the ghettos weren’t everything that you see today, and MINUSTAH didn’t succeed in pacifying the country. Instead, they imported cholera and rape, they raped little girls, little boys, like the Uruguayan soldiers did to a little 10-year-old boy in Port Salut, and they gave us cholera. The people became tired of that. The same people who went into the street to greet MINUSTAH demanded the departure of MINUSTAH…

“History is now repeating itself. The [oligarchs] put a lot of guns in the poor neighborhoods to destabilize the Jovenel Moïse government. When they saw that the demonstrations and everything they did couldn’t get him out, finally in complicity with the imperialists… with the politicians and the oligarchs, they assassinated… Jovenel Moïse. Now they’ve lost control of the arms that they put in the poor neighborhoods and they had to call in a group of assassins and mercenaries from Kenya on the pretext that they will crush the gangs and battle Viv Ansanm. They will fight. Viv Ansanm will fight. The Kenyans are protecting the interests of the American oligarchs… That’s why they brought them here…

“You can kill 10 or 20 people, but you can’t kill an entire people. Haitians, in their DNA, are rebels… We are fighting against a system. The system, in order to regenerate itself, is calling on the Kenyan force…

“The arrival of this Kenyan force is going to lead us directly into a civil war…. if they [the Conille government] don’t want to dialogue with us, if they want to be the foreigners’ servants, ready to do whatever the foreigners tells them or want. The foreigners wanted a foreign force to come in; they looked for an African country to humiliate us. It’s almost like they want to tell us ‘ever since Africa, blacks have been betraying each other.’ That lie is how they’ve always divided us…

“Haiti has always been the mother of liberty. Those guys are trampling the soil of liberty. There is an army of young men and young women who are ready to fight to their last drop of blood to liberate Haiti.”

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