Britain Renews Multi-Billion Pact To Train Troops In Kenya

The UK has renewed its multi-billion shilling defence pact that allows its troops to continue training at Nanyuki one month after Kenya won its bid to try errant British soldiers locally.

The Sh9 billion Kenya-UK military training pact has in the past been dogged by allegation of gross human rights violation by British troops. PHOTO | FILE

The Sh9 billion Kenya-UK military training pact has in the past been dogged by allegation of gross human rights violation by British troops. PHOTO | FILE


The new Defence Co-operation Agreement (DCA) was signed in Nairobi yesterday by Defence secretary Raychelle Omamo and the newly posted British High Commissioner Nic Hailey. The agreement takes effect after ratification by both the UK and Kenya parliaments.

“This new agreement is based on mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty, the Kenyan Constitution and the shared interest of our military relationship,” said Mr Hailey.

The Sh9 billion Kenya-UK military training pact has in the past been dogged by allegation of gross human rights violation by British troops.

A previous attempt to extend the military engagement almost collapsed over allegations that the UK had sought to shield its troops from prosecution in Kenya for any offences they commit during the training.

“The UK government insists on legal accountability for all its personnel in line with either British or Kenyan law, depending on which is most appropriate in the circumstances,” the British High Commission said in a statement on Wednesday.

The new DCA, the officials said, will allow for “strengthened” defence engagement in areas such as border security and counter improvised explosive device (C-IED) capability.

The UK will also continue training Kenyan and other Amisom troops.

The deal is expected to test the commitment of Mr Hailey, who officially took office on December 8, to treat Kenya as an equal partner in the long standing military engagement.

President Kenyatta has previously accused the UK government of abandoning his administration at the time of need in the fight against terrorism.

– Business Daily