NEW YORK - Benin has offered 2,000 troops to support a planned Kenyan-led international force to help Haitian national police fight armed gangs, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told a press conference on Monday.

The United Nations authorized the mission in October, a year after Haiti's unelected government requested it. The U.N. estimates the conflict in the Caribbean nation killed close to 5,000 people last year and has driven some 300,000 from their homes.

Thomas-Greenfield, speaking in Guyana where she traveled to lead the U.S. delegation to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit there, said she had learned just before starting the trip that Benin had offered the troops to support the force.

She said some Caribbean countries that had pledged support had called for more Francophone nations to join the effort.

A U.S. statement issued on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rio de Janeiro last week had announced "financial, personnel, and in-kind commitments to the mission" from Benin, France and Canada, the latter which later announced 80.5 million Canadian dollars ($60 million) for the mission.

The troops would help Haitian authorities combat armed gangs in the country, which were responsible for 5,000 civilian deaths in 2023, according to the U.N. The offer by Benin comes as Kenya’s planned deployment of 1,000 police officers to lead the mission remains in limbo after the High Court in Nairobi declared it unconstitutional in January.

The United States has itself committed $200 million and pledged to boost efforts to stem the flow of illicit arms to the Caribbean region. The U.N. estimates firearms held by Haitian gangs are largely smuggled from the United States.