Niece of Kenyan Agnes Wanjiru Allegedly Killed by BATUK Soldiers Accuses London of Covering Up Case
15:50 17.11.2023 (Updated: 16:40 17.11.2023)
The British Army Training Unit in Kenya (BATUK) has long had a bad reputation in Kenya. One of the most high-profile atrocities allegedly committed by the soldiers was the murder of Agnes Wanjiru in 2012. In 2021 one of the unit's soldiers reportedly confessed the murder to his comrades, but no one has since been prosecuted for the crime.
The UK government has decided to hush up the case of the killing of 21-year-old Agnes Wanjiru by alleged British soldiers in Kenya in 2012, the victim's niece Esther Njoki told Sputnik Africa.
Njoki cited the refusal of British authorities to allow her family to meet with the British royal couple during their visit to Kenya. She explained that her family was counting on the monarchs to come to their aid and bring closure to the case.
"But we were even denied access to meet them in person. So it really shows that there is massive cover up behind this case. It is traumatizing and painful because if Queen Camilla and His Majesty met the victims of Mau Mau, why is the family of Agnes not meeting them?" Njoki remarked.
The relative of the murdered woman expressed pessimism that the perpetrators would be arrested
, saying that 11 years after the murder, the British government, aware of the crime, has not attempted to do so.
"We are not sure if they're going to be arrested because they have never been arrested in the intervening 11 years, and their government knew that even when they were deported back," she opined.
Njoki also pointed out that if the UK government delegates the investigation to Kenya, it should agree to allow the perpetrators to return to the East African nation "to face the consequences."
In addition, Njoki revealed that her family has not received
any support from the UK government since the murder of the girl, who left behind a 6-month-old daughter in 2012. The girl complained that the UK government was not paying child support, even though they "should be held responsible for it" Today, Njoki's family and her single mother are raising the child on their own.
"It's hectic sometimes. I'm 19 years old, and I have not yet joined college because of financial concerns. So you can imagine how raising Stacey is quite hectic for us," the girl said.
BATUK is believed to be responsible for many serious atrocities that have drawn public condemnation in Kenya. The British military unit has been accused of killing and injuring people and livestock with unexploded bombs during soldier training exercises in reserves and communities.
In an interview with Sputnik Africa, a Kenyan activist James Mwangi Macharia, executive chairman of the African Center for Corrective and Preventive Action (ACCPA), said that the killing of Wanjiru is "one of the most painful atrocities committed against a Kenyan since independence," and the purported inaction of the authorities in regard to this case has prompted the NGO to intervene.
"This lady was savagely killed by the soldiers," he asserted. "They are even making fun of it in the social media. They are free in the streets of London. When that offense happened, it was reported to the Ministry of Defense headquarters in London. The cover-up that has been there is so enormous. And that's why we came in this year to demand information as to the extent of investigations and possible extradition of these soldiers. We further [filed] a case in the Kenyan Constitutional Court, and we are having a mention."
The allegations also relate to damage caused during the unit's military exercises in 2021. During this military exercise, a devastating fire broke out in the Lolldaiga region of the state, destroying more than 4,800 hectares of land and injuring local residents.
After the fire, the local community filed a lawsuit against BATUK, a Kenyan court ordered the British army to pay compensation, but on October 20, residents of central Kenya condemned
the lack of it.