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Canadian soldiers to train troops ahead of Kenya-led Haiti mission


by MAUREEN NJERI
Sunday March 31, 2024


Photo of President Ruto in a KDF parade at Embakasi Garrison Nairobi on October 14, 2023, during KDF Day PHOTO PSC

The Canadian government on Saturday, March 30 announced the deployment of soldiers to train troops from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) ahead of the peacekeeping mission to Haiti.

In a statement from the National Defence, it was revealed that about 70 troops from Canada's Armed Forces will be deployed to Jamaica where the training will be held.

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"At the request of the Jamaican government, they will provide training to military personnel from Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations who are set to deploy to Haiti as part of the United Nations-authorized, Kenyan-led, Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission," read part of the statement.

According to the National Defence, these troops will drawn from the 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment from Valcartier, Quebec. This is a mechanised infantry battalion whose role is to generate and train versatile troops capable of operating in the full spectrum of operations.

This training is among Canada's contributions to the Kenya-led mission in Haiti as the crisis escalates. Troops who will receive training from their Canadian counterparts will help boost the Haitian National Police (HNP).

In Operation HELIOS, the Canadian Armed Forces will provide training on core peacekeeping skills and combat first aid as well as carry out validation and integration exercises for the troops.

This training shall continue for an average of one month and the CAF will train approximately 330 CARICOM troops from Jamaica, Belize and the Bahamas.

"Operation HELIOS also builds on Canada’s ongoing efforts to increase the capacity of CARICOM nations to participate in United Nations missions," read part of the report.

The training shall also involve different topics such as the protection of civilians, conduct and discipline, and conflict-related sexual violence.

Speaking after the announcement, Mélanie Joly the Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasised that Canada was committed to supporting the Haitian people.

The Minister added that Canada was stepping up with the most important contributions to Haiti's security to help restore peace.

"I’d like to thank members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their dedication and support towards a successful deployment of the MSS mission, a critical step in restoring security, law and order and democracy in Haiti. As we’ve said from the beginning, Canada believes in Haitian-led solutions to the political, security and humanitarian crises in Haiti," Joly added.

She further explained that Canada would continue to engage other stakeholders and international partners to protect the people of Haiti and strengthen its security.

Earlier on, Canada announced an investment of Ksh8.2 billion (80.5 million) for the multinational security support mission.



 





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