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Inquiry into Alleged Human Rights Violations by British Troops in Kenya Reveals Heartbreaking Testimonies

NAIROBI — A landmark public inquiry convened to investigate allegations of human rights violations by British troops in Kenya has been flooded with “heartbreaking” testimonies from individuals claiming mistreatment.

Over the course of this week, numerous individuals have stepped forward to provide evidence to the parliamentary inquiry probing into the alleged misconduct of soldiers associated with the British Army Training Unit Kenya (Batuk).

Among those sharing their stories are the relatives of a young woman purportedly disabled in a hit-and-run involving a British Army truck, a mother who alleges abandonment while pregnant, and a man who claims to have been mauled by a lion following fires allegedly initiated during an army training exercise.

Situated approximately 200km (125 miles) north of Nairobi, the capital city, the Batuk base in Nanyuki was established in 1964, shortly after Kenya gained independence from the United Kingdom.

Kenya’s Defence Minister, Aden Duale, has publicly announced the nation’s intention to pursue prosecutions for any British soldier suspected of violating the law during deployments spanning several decades.

Responding to the inquiry, the UK High Commission in Kenya informed the BBC of its awareness of the proceedings, pledging cooperation along with Batuk.

Hundreds of individuals have congregated near the Batuk base to attend the four public hearings, where emotional accounts of alleged misconduct by British soldiers have been recounted.

Memusi Lochede, one of the witnesses, disclosed that British officials had assured her of the care for her 22-year-old daughter, Chaula Memusi, who reportedly became wheelchair-bound following injuries sustained in a hit-and-run involving a British army truck in January 2019.

“They sent a representative to tell me that they don’t want a court case and that they would take care of my daughter,” Lochede, a 45-year-old mother, stated after one of the hearings conducted outdoors under a marquee in Archers Post, the site of British army infantry exercises, held in collaboration with the Kenyan government.

Under an agreement with the Kenyan government, up to six infantry battalions undertake eight-week exercises in Kenya annually.

©️ All East Africa

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