, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 1 – Kenya and the United Kingdom on Thursday finalised a new Defence Co-operation Agreement (DCA) to cement the longstanding military partnership between the two nations.
The new agreement was ratified by the Kenyan Parliament on Thursday, allowing for the continuation of British military training in Kenya currently worth Sh7.5 billion per year to the Kenyan economy.
The UK Parliament had already ratified the agreement.
It will also trigger an enhanced programme of co-operation between the two nations’ armed forces.
Welcoming the passage of the document by the Kenyan Parliament, British High Commissioner Nic Hailey said the move will allow the UK significantly increase military engagement with Kenya, enhancing the defence capability of both nations and contributing to Kenyan and wider regional security.
“The UK is Kenya’s longest-standing defence and security partner, and both countries want to see the relationship continue and grow. This new agreement is based on respect for each others’ sovereignty, and provides a legal basis for our military co-operation in line with the requirements of the Kenyan Constitution,” Hailey added.
Currently about 10, 000 troops from the UK are trained in Kenya each year.
It will also see an enhanced programme of co-operation across all three KDF services with the UK armed forces, including provision of specialised military training, in addition to continued support to Kenyan security forces deploying to Somalia as part of the AMISOM mission.
The British Army (BATUK) is a major employer in Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu counties, with around 500 permanent Kenyan staff and a further 900 on temporary contracts.
BATUK also conducts multiple development and community outreach projects in collaboration with County Governors and Ministries.
In December 2015, the Kenya and UK military pact set out new rules.
Under the new rules British soldiers who commit crimes while training in Kenya will now be subjected to the Constitution of Kenya, as per the new Defence Co-operation Agreement (DCA).
Their counterparts from Kenya, training in the United Kingdom will also be subjected to their laws.
In case the soldier was undertaking official duties when he committed the offence; the agreement requires that the offence be tried within the jurisdiction of Kenya by British officials.