Kenyan delegate to meetings on Haiti security found dead in Washington hotel

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

A Kenyan official who had been in Washington for talks on a planned international security force to help Haitian police fight gangs was found dead in his hotel room, police in the U.S. capital said on Thursday.

Washington police said they found 39-year-old Nyamato Walter unconscious in a hotel room in downtown Washington on Tuesday morning, and pronounced him dead at the scene.

The police statement did not give a cause of death but noted that the investigation was being handled by a squad specializing in natural deaths and suicides.

Walter, a police commissioner who was part of an official Kenyan delegation, was in the U.S. capital for talks over a planned U.N.-ratified force to help Haiti’s out-gunned police fight gangs, according to U.S. and Kenyan media outlets.

The would-be Kenyan-led force has faced setbacks, with a Nairobi court blocking the proposed deployment of 1,000 police officers last month as unconstitutional, although President William Ruto has said the plan will go ahead and meetings have since continued.

No deployment date has been set, and the United Nations has yet to publish details of a fund set up to gather contributions from member states. Some other African and Caribbean countries have also pledged support, while the United States has offered funds.

Haiti’s unelected government first requested the force in 2022. Heavily-armed gangs have since grown in strength and are now estimated to control most of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Over 300,000 Haitians have fled their homes due to the conflict, with indiscriminate killings, mass kidnappings, routine sexual violence and access to aid blocked.

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