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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

British Soldiers Rape Kenyan Women, Leave Behind Children: Report

British soldiers training in Kenya have been accused of raping thousands of women over decades, leaving behind mixed-race children and facing allegations of impunity.

British soldiers have been accused of raping thousands of Kenyan women while training in the East African nation over decades, with the alleged rapists reportedly leaving behind dozens of children that they fathered.

Mixed-race children continue to be born in remote villages of the central Kenyan region where the British Army Training Unit (BATUK) trains its troops, about 200km (124 miles) north of Nairobi, CNN reported on Monday. At least 69 of the children were allegedly born as a result of rape allegedly committed by the UK soldiers.

Other children, which have been fathered in consensual relationships, have received no support or contact from their fathers, who returned home after finishing their training, CNN said. They also suffer ostracization by their neighbors.

“They call me ‘mzungu maskini,’ or poor white girl,” 17-year-old Marian Pannalossy told the US media outlet. “They always say, ‘Why are you here? Just look for connections so that you can go to your own people. You don’t belong here.’”

Allegations of crimes committed by UK troops in Kenya, including rape and murder, date back to the 1950s. In one infamous case, a 21-year-old woman vanished in 2012 after being seen going into a hotel with British troops. Her body was later found in a septic tank. The soldier identified as the suspected killer by other troops has never faced trial.

The UK Defense Ministry dismissed rape claims by 2,187 Kenyan women in 2007, saying there as “no reliable evidence to support any single allegation.” Royal Military Police investigators concluded that much of the Kenyan evidence appeared to have been fabricated. CNN rexported UK authorities didn’t do DNA testing on any of the mixed-race children who were born to alleged rape victims.

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Some of the villagers testified in 2009 to Kenya’s Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission that they were preyed upon by British troops as they did their daily chores. Soldiers havre been accused of gang-raping 30 women, in many cases at knifepoint. The commission later claimed that the Nairobi government lost the case files of the alleged victims.

CNN said the UK pays the Kenyan government about $400,000 annually for permission to conduct training near the country’s Laikipia and Samburu wildlife reserves. The controversial contract was renewed in 2021.

A new provision in the deal allows for British soldiers to be sued in Kenyan courts. CNN said lawyer Kelvin Kubai is working to reintroduce the rape cases of more than 300 women. “The Kenyan legal system offers a better redress than what is available in the UK,” he told the outlet.

Under Kenyan law, there is no statute of limitations for human rights abuses, which could open the door for women who were allegedly raped decades ago to seek damages. Many of the accusers have died while waiting for their claims to be heard.