On Tuesday, 6 April 2021, the United Kingdom Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Sir Nick Carter visited Kenya and paid a courtesy call to the Chief of the Defence Forces (CDF) General Robert Kibochi at the Defence Headquarters in Nairobi. The two engaged in bilateral talks regarding cooperation between militaries of the two nations.
Tuesday afternoon, Gen Sir Nick delivered a lecture on International Security Dynamics at the National Defence College, hosted by the Commandant, Lieutenant General Adan Mulata. Finally, on Wednesday, he concluded his tour by visiting the British Army Training Unit in Kenya (BATUK) in Nanyuki where he was briefed on joint military training and exercises that the UK troops partake while in Kenya. (https://mod.go.ke)
Certainly the visit was a calculated move by the British colonial master to appease her subservient agent managers. This is after three crucial incidences emanating from the UK. First – it was the incidence of British soldiers bringing the Covid-19 UK variant, known as B.1.1.7 to Kenya when coming for training. Second – a huge fire that began on Wednesday, 24 March 2021. British soldiers under the British Army Training Unit in Kenya (BATUK) caused a huge fire with an alleged explosion of an improvised device used while training. The inferno that took almost 5 days to be quelled, destroyed over 12,000 acres of the Loldaiga Hills.
This prompted an environmental lobby group, African Centre for Corrective and Preventive Action (ACCPA) to sue the British Army for the incident. Furthermore, ACCPA petitioned BATUK and Loldaiga Conservancy to compensate the locals affected for the environmental damages caused by the fire. Third – inconceivable travel directives to Kenya by UK that precipitated a tit for tat by the Kenyan government!
Kenya is an independent nation on paper but UK’s colony in reality context. A part from Kenya being a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, it has ratified numerous agreements that shackles it to her colonial master. Some of the deals are Defence Cooperation Agreement with the UK that is more than 40 years long! In the said pact British soldiers are to be stationed in Kenya for ‘training purposes.’
Consequently, it has led to over 10,000 British troops to train in Kenya every year! In readiness for deployment in areas with similar climate such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Hence, BATUK is a permanent training support unit stationed essentially in Nanyuki with a small detachment base in Kahawa. Furthermore, the UK has British Peace Support Team East Africa (BPST-EA). Its main purpose is to coordinate British military assistance to armed forces in Eastern Africa such as AMISOM Pre-Deployment Training etc.
It is not lost that whoever controls the army controls the nation. Since Britain exploits its colonial ties to Kenya and whose influence permeates the ranks of the Army structure whose foundation and building blocks were laid by it. Ultimately its purpose is to protect its colonial interests and agenda in Kenya and the wider East African region. Hence, the war against ‘Terrorism’ and ‘Extremism’ provide the urgently needed opportunity for further escalation of military maneuvers especially now that Britain left the European Union (EU).
Britain currently is on an overdrive to put all its acts in order to realign her policies and tactics to shore up its dwindling stakes as a lone ranger today. So this latest blunders emanating from the UK side are just tea-cup headwinds that needed just a two-day visit by the United Kingdom Chief of Defence Staff to pacify her colonial farm managers. Status quo prevails as confirmed by the total silence of the Ministries of Defence and Environment in relation to the latest outcry on the ravage caused to the ecosystem. In addition, the raging diplomatic tiff will dwindle down.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Ali Nassoro Ali
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir