Canada to train troops from Caribbean nations for Haiti mission

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada has sent around 70 soldiers to Jamaica to train troops from Caribbean nations who are due to take part in a U.N.-authorized mission to Haiti, the Canadian defense ministry said on Saturday.

Kenya announced last year it would lead the force, which is designed to help national police fight powerful gangs in Haiti where spiraling violence has fueled a humanitarian disaster. The initiative has been tied up in Kenyan court challenges ever since, effectively putting the mission on hold.

The Canadian troops, from the predominantly French-speaking province of Quebec, will provide training on core peace-keeping skills and combat first aid, the defense ministry said in a statement. French is one of Haiti’s two official languages.

The troops are due to stay in Jamaica for an initial period of a month and will train around 330 troops from Jamaica, Belize and the Bahamas.

Canada said last month it would give C$80.5 million to support the deployment of the Kenyan-led mission.

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