Kenya pauses police deployment to Haiti after PM's resignation

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya has decided to pause its deployment of 1,000 police officers to lead an international security mission in Haiti following Prime Minister Ariel Henry's announcement that he would tender his resignation, a senior Kenyan official said on Tuesday.

"(Whether we deploy) is contingent on the ground situation, and the critical ground situation is that there has to be an authority that can be the basis for a police deployment, that enjoys constitutional authority in Haiti," Abraham Korir Sing'Oei, the principal secretary at the foreign ministry, said.

Reacting to the Kenyan announcement, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters: "We would be concerned of course about any delay (in the deployment), but we don't think that there will need to be a delay.

"If you look at what the Kenyan government said in its statement is that they have to have a government with which to collaborate, which has been an important part of their understanding. It's a perfectly natural thing to expect," he added.

(Reporting by Aaron Ross; additional reporting by Simon Lewis in Washington; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Silvia Aloisi)