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Marriott: Bandits not using British Army weapons in Laikipia



Jane Marriott, British High Commissioner to Kenya [p/courtesy]

The British High Commissioner to Kenya British High commissioner Jane Marriott has refuted claims that BATUK weapons are circulating in Kenya and being used by bandits behind the deadly skirmishes which are being witnessed in Laikipia County.

Britain has been training upto 10,000 troops at it’s Nyati Barracks – British Army Training Unit Kenya (Batuk) in Nanyuki which is located in Laikipia, Kenya.

Ms Marriott claimed that they do a 100% daily quantity check as she stressed that their units exercising with Batuk do not use M16 rifles. Her defense comes barely 48 hours after Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya suggested that the bandits terrorizing Laikipia are armed with M16 rifles which are commonly used by foreign forces training in the area.

Natembeya was puzzled of how such lethal weapons got into their hands of the herders as he called for thorough investigations to unearth criminals behind the attacks which have claimed the lives of three police officers and seven locals.

“The guns that these bandits are using are mighty. They are called M16. Most of them are only used by foreign troops who come to train in Kenya,” Natembeya said.

But he recanted his statements on Wednesday to avoid rubbing British Army the wrong way when he claimed that such lethal weapons might have been smuggled into Kenya from war torn places like South Sudan and Northern Uganda.

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M16 rifles can shoot over a range of 3.5 kilometres and can release 60 rounds of ammunition within a minute, which translates to one bullet per second.

Laikipia was declared a disturbed security operation area after the National Security Council met on Monday and two days later another meeting was held by the National Security Advisory Committee after which Interior CS Fred Matiang’i declared a dusk to dawn curfew in the area.

Efforts to restore peace has seen the arrest of two local politicians including former Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel and Tiaty MP William Kamket who have been charged with incitements.



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