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Members of the second contingent of Kenyan police greet each other after arriving in the Caribbean country as part of a peacekeeping mission, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 16, 2024.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol

Double duty: Kenya and Bangladesh try to balance domestic crises with Haiti aid

Haiti’s Prime Minister Garry Conillecalled for gangs to surrender their weapons and recognize the state’s authority late Wednesday, as a Kenyan-led police mission there enjoys some early success.

Some 200 officers arrived in late June and are trying to take back the capital from gangs that launched a series of highly coordinated attacks in February, ousting former Prime Minister Ariel Henry and seizing about 80% of the capital. The mission received another 200 Kenyan officers on Tuesday, and, within the coming months, the multinational force is expected to see recruits from other countries, including Bangladesh. But oddly enough, both Nairobi and Dhaka are facing severe challenges to law and order at home.

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Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) leaves the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York after the second day of deliberations after an indictment for an alleged 16 counts of conspiracy on July 15, 2024, in New York City. Menendez is charged with using his political influence to benefit Egypt in exchange for compensation, a scheme orchestrated by his wife and by three business co-conspirators, Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes who are charged with similar crimes relating to payments made to Menendez on Monday September 25, 2023 the Senator denied all allegations and that the $500,000 found in his house by agents is an old fashioned way of safeguarding money against emergencies.

John Lamparski via Reuters Connect

Hard Numbers: Sen. Menendez found guilty, Protests turn deadly in Kenya, China’s readers scoop up Vance’s book, Rwanda’s early vote count in, Bangladeshi protests claim lives

16: Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey was found guilty on Tuesday of all 16 counts in his federal corruption trial, including bribery, acting as a foreign agent (a first for a US senator), and fraud. Prosecutors said “he put his power up for sale,” lending support in exchange for money, gold bars, and other bribes in a yearslong scheme. He faces decades in prison when he’s sentenced on Oct. 29.

1: One person was killed Tuesday in violent anti-government protests that resumed in Kenya less than a week after Kenyan President William Rutodismissed most of his cabinet to demonstrate his commitment to make radical changes to the demonstrators. The protests first broke out last month – 39 people were killed, and demonstrators breached the Parliament building – in response to a deeply unpopular finance bill that aimed to raise $2 billion in taxes to offset worsening economic crises. Ruto backed down from the tax, but protesters are still demanding that he resign.

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Kenya's President William Ruto speaks at a press conference where he announced spending cuts in government after protests againstKenya's proposed finance bill 2024/2025, in Nairobi, Kenya, July 5, 2024.

REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

Kenyan president fires cabinet in bid to retain power

In the wake of mass protests over proposed tax increases that turned deadly last month, Kenyan President William Ruto fired the bulk of his cabinet on Thursday, signaling that he’s willing to make radical changes.

Protests broke out in June in response to a finance bill passed by parliament to raise over $2 billion in taxes. The demonstrators brought chaos to Nairobi, killing 39 people and breaching the nation’s parliament building. The violence forced Ruto to abandon the bill, and he’s been implementing a series of measures to reduce government spending. With his cabinet reshuffle — he sacked all but his deputy president and prime cabinet secretary — Ruto hopes to quell angry protests calling for his resignation by showing he’s listening and willing to be more flexible.

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A man gestures at a demonstration over police killings of people protesting against Kenya's proposed finance bill 2024/2025, in Nairobi, Kenya, June 27, 2024.
REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

Kenya’s president does a 180 after deadly protests

Kenyan President William Ruto on Wednesday caved to the demands of protesters and scrapped a controversial finance bill. The legislation, which would’ve raised taxes on a population already struggling with high living costs, sparked mass protests that led to a deadly police response this week.

“I will not sign the 2024 finance bill,” Ruto said Wednesday amid widespread outrage over the deaths. “The people have spoken.”

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People attend a demonstration against Kenya's proposed finance bill 2024/2025 in Nairobi, Kenya, June 25.

REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

Protests turn deadly as Kenyans storm Parliament

Kenyans enraged over a new finance bill that would increase taxes attempted to storm Parliament in Nairobi on Tuesday, prompting police to use live ammunition. Part of the building was set on fire, and multiple people were reportedly killed.

The demonstrations, which have also spread to other major cities and led Kenya to deploy the military, have been “a long time coming” and reflect the general mood across the country, says Caroline Gray, a Fulbright scholar based in Nairobi.

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Kenyan police officers wearing ceremonial uniform participate in a parade during the commemoration of 61st Madaraka Day. A contingent of Kenyan Police is awaiting deployment to lead a Multinational Security Support Mission(MSS) to Haiti.

James Wakibia / SOPA Images via Reuters Connect

Kenyan cops are finally heading to Haiti

On Sunday, Kenyan officials said the police force they have promised to lead in Haiti, where they will help the beleaguered Haitian police fight heavily armed gangs, will depart on Tuesday.

They’re walking into a desperate situation. The Haitian National Police can count on only around 4,000 officers in a nation of 11 million, and last week new Prime Minister Garry Conille dismissed the country’s police chief. The Kenyans are bringing around 1,000 more officers, and other countries, including Benin, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, and Chad have pledged forces, though it is unclear when they will arrive. The project will be funded generously by Uncle Sam, to the tune of $110 million so far, but there will be no US boots on the ground.

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Kenyan President William Ruto and U.S. President Joe Biden shake hands during a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2024.

REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

The Kenyan president’s landmark White House visit

Yesterday’sstate visit to the White House by Kenya’s President William Ruto was an extraordinary event for several reasons. On the diplomatic front, it was the first official state visit by an African leader to the White House since 2008.

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Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Commercial flights in and out of the airport have been suspended since early March 2024 when armed groups targeted the facility and nearby domestic airport.

TNS/ABACA via Reuters Connect

Kenyan officials arrive in Haiti to prep police deployment

An advance team of Kenyan security officials has arrived in Haiti to make final preparations for the deployment of a long-awaited police force to help take back the streets from gangs. If they find the facilities for the mission are adequately prepared, it could mean Kenyan cops hit the streets of Port-au-Prince within weeks or even days.

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