Kenya blocks airing of allegations of UK army abuses before king’s visit
The King and Queen flew to Kenya today ahead of their State Visit, which begins tomorrow.The King and Queen are on their way to Kenya for a four-day visit which will take in the best of the country, from its young tech entrepreneurs and creatives to its beautiful forests and coastline.
The visit will take place from Tuesday 31st October to Friday 3rd November 2023, and will celebrate the warm relationship between the two countries and the strong and dynamic partnership they continue to forge.
King Charles III wants to look to the future as his state visit to Kenya commences on Tuesday. However, he must first confront the past.
As Charles prepares for the four-day trip to Kenya, he is facing calls to address the legacy of eight decades of British colonial rule, complaints that foreigners still own large swaths of rich farmland, and allegations that the U.K. has failed to accept responsibility for the crimes committed by British soldiers stationed in Kenya.
The trip will also be closely watched worldwide because it marks the king’s first state visit to an African nation and his first to a Commonwealth member since ascending the throne last year. This visit occurs at a time when the U.K. and the royal family are under pressure to reexamine the history of colonialism and apologize for their role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
On Monday, Kenyan police blocked a news conference intended to air allegations of human rights and environmental abuses by British troops in the country, just hours before King Charles arrives for his four-day state visit.
Buckingham Palace has stated that Charles’ visit will acknowledge the “painful aspects of the UK and Kenya’s shared history.” The British ruled for more than six decades before the East African nation gained independence in 1963.
The allegations in question relate to a period long after the end of colonial rule. Residents of central Kenya’s Lolldaiga area have accused a British army training unit based nearby of causing a wildfire in 2021 that destroyed much of a nature reserve, leaving behind ordnance that injured locals, and being involved in the 2012 murder of a woman last seen with British soldiers.
UK authorities have promised in the past to investigate the allegations against members of the military training unit, which has about 100 permanent staff.