Kenyan government to launch inquiry into alleged murder of Agnes Wanjiru by British troops

British troops in Kenya
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Kenyan politicians have approved an inquiry into the alleged murder of a Kenyan woman by British troops. Agnes Wanjiru’s body was found stuffed into a hotel septic tank near a British army base in the country. But now, the Kenyan National Assembly has voted for an investigation into the 2012 killing.


Agnes was last seen alive in March 2012 leaving a bar with two British soldiers. Her body was found behind a hotel room where the soldiers stayed. Nobody has ever been charged or convicted, though a British soldier is wanted in connection with the case.

Residents of the Laikipia area, where the UK military base is situated, have spoken out about the killing and the impact British troops have on their lives. One anonymous resident told the iPaper:

If there is a crime committed by a [British soldier in Kenya], why can’t they be dealt with, as a criminal, rather than you know, getting immunity and being treated in a special way?

Another said soldiers deployed to Kenya ignored rules and acted disrespectfully towards local people:

In the set-up of a club, you find them [British soldiers] really dominating the locals. They would not respect the place.

The resident added:

Read on...

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Like in a non-smoking zone, some would go ahead and smoke or in a place where they were told no firearms, some will come with firearms.

Kenya’s colonial past and present

Kenya was a British colony up until independence in 1963. And the British legacy there is of violent counter-insurgency and exploitation. Yet the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) is still used to train thousands of UK troops every year.

Environmental damage is done to wilderness areas and many locals have been injured by unexploded ordnance that litter the ground. In 2015, unexploded ordnance horrifically wounded one 13-year-old boy near BATUK.

Kenya may no longer technically be a UK colony. However, the continued and damaging presence of British troops against the will of local people is ultimately a continuation of the same violent colonial dynamic.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Cpl Jamie Hart, cropped to 1910 x 1000, licenced under Open Government Licence.

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  • Show Comments
    1. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Colonialism by another name.

      Absolutely horrible what was done to this woman. If British soldiers committed this murder, then they are criminals, plain and simple. They should not be protected by the military nor the British establishment.

      Thank you for this timely and insightful article.

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