Parliament launches probe into alleged abuses by British soldiers in Kenya

Parliament launches probe into alleged abuses by British soldiers in Kenya

File image of Kenya's Parliament. PHOTO | THOMAS MUKOYA | REUTERS

The National Assembly has launched an inquiry into alleged atrocities inflicted on Kenyans by the British Army Training Unit in Kenya (BATUK) based in Laikipia and Samburu counties.

The Departmental Committee on Defense is inviting members of the public and stakeholders to submit memoranda relating to alleged malpractices within BATUK since its inception.

The committee Chairman Nelson Koech said the Parliamentary Defense watchdog will ensure that all victims of atrocities get justice.

By invoking Article 95 of the Constitution which mandates the National Assembly to represent the people, deliberate on issues of concern to the people and exercise oversight of State organs, Koech sought to assure Kenyans that the committee will conduct a comprehensive investigation into the alleged malpractices.

Among the allegations being probed include; Ethical breaches related to misconduct, including corruption, fraud, discrimination, abuse of power, and other unethical behaviours.

The committee is also looking into human rights violations including mistreatment, torture, unlawful detention, killings, or any other violations of internationally recognized human rights standards.

BATUK’s operational integrity especially safety protocols, compliance with legal requirements and adherence to established military standards is also under the microscope.

“We were confronted by different petitions in Laikipia & Samburu counties on gross human rights violations,” said Koech.

The committee is now calling on members of the public and stakeholders to submit memoranda on any issue they may wish to draw the attention of the committee to.

“We have received so many petitions and memoranda from victims of atrocities. Whether it dates back to 1963, we have to get to the bottom of it,” added Koech.

The unresolved murder case of Agnes Wanjiru, the woman allegedly murdered by a British soldier in March 2012, is among atrocities and human rights violations that the Parliamentary Defense watchdog is seeking to probe and seek justice.

The committee has so far received 10 petitions implicating the British Army Training Unit in Kenya.

With no single accused Army officer having been prosecuted in Kenya, perhaps this is a God sent opportunity for the victims who have been waiting for Justice to submit their case.


National Assembly BATUK British soldiers Nelson Koech

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