UK defence minister under pressure to probe 2012 killing of Kenyan woman

2021-10-25 21:22:16
UK defence minister under pressure to probe 2012 killing of Kenyan woman

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is under pressure to launch an investigation into a possible cover-up after no one was held responsible for the killing of a 21-year old Kenyan woman by one or more UK soldiers.

John Healey, the shadow defence secretary, described the 2012 killing of Agnes Wanjiru as “dreadful” and called for Wallace to “take this more seriously”.

It happened at the Lions Court hotel in Nanyuki, central Kenya, where British soldiers were reportedly drinking alcohol, according to the Sunday Times.

British involvement in Wanjiru’s murder shocked the town – a tourism gateway to Mount Kenya with a population of around 50,000.

A 2019 inquest in Kenya concluded Wanjiru “was murdered by British soldiers” and despite Kenyan police investigations and inquiries by Ministry of Defence (MoD) investigators no one has been brought to justice.

The soldier has allegedly confessed to the killing, and another soldier reported it to senior officers at the time - but no action was taken.

Since Kenya gained independence in 1963, the British army has maintained a permanent garrison on the outskirts of Nanyuki.

Crimes committed by UK troops have caused tension over their long presence in Nanyuki.

In March, a fire broke out at a BATUK training area and spread uncontrollably, burning for days and consuming around 12,000 acres (4,800 hectares).

In 2002, Britain's defence ministry paid millions in compensation to 233 people who said they had been injured by unexploded British ordnance in the area.

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