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A 40-year-old British army officer collapsed and died inside the house of his 22-year-old girlfriend in Nanyuki, Laikipia County on Saturday, August 12.
The army officer, who was in the country training with the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK), which is a permanent training support unit of the British Army located in Kenya, died Saturday evening shortly after he and his lover arrived at the woman’s Nanyuki house. The two had earlier Saturday gone for a walk.
A section of the woman’s neighbours speculated that the British army officer died after engaging in sexual intimacy with his lover, while another quota surmised that the soldier died after getting stuck while having sex with the 22-year-old woman.
Neighbours, who had milled around the woman’s house after word had gone round about the soldier’s death, were denied access into her house by BATUK soldiers, who had gone to collect their colleague’s body.
Claims that the 40-year-old soldier died during intimacy with his lover were dismissed by Laikipia East police boss, James Kithuka, who said the man, according to his lover, had complained of a severe headache before he collapsed and died.
“The army officer had had a good time with his longtime girlfriend outside her house before returning inside. While inside the house, they cooked and ate. The man would shortly, thereafter, complain of a severe headache. He vomited, collapsed and died. What is being speculated by members of the public is not true; the man did not get stuck while having sex with his lover,” said Mr Kithuka.
The Laikipia East OCPD says they have launched an investigation into the British army officer’s death.
BATUK programme aims at improving capabilities of the British Forces in arid terrain and for future deployments in similar environments.
Kenya is a long-standing member of the Commonwealth of Nations and has an enduring Defence Cooperation Agreement with the British Government that allows the presence of British troops on Kenyan soil mainly for training purposes.
This agreement reflects a military collaboration between the two nations that is roughly 40-year long and has not yet shown signals that are coming to an end in the short run.
The nature of the British presence in Kenya is focused on training troops in preparation for operations in other places with similar terrain and climate, such as parts of Afghanistan and Iraq.
This presence is through the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) that is a permanent training support unit which is stationed mainly in Nanyuki, roughly 200 km north of Nairobi, with a small detachment base in Kahawa.
The Army declares that the Training Unit Kenya provides logistic support to troops that arrive throughout the year and provides “demanding training to exercising units preparing to deploy on operations or assume high readiness tasks”.
According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the British agreement with the Government of Kenya includes up to six infantry battalion each year to carry out eight-week training exercises in the rugged and arid Kenyan terrain.
These conditions are unavailable in Britain and therefore is a unique possibility for the British Army to train its soldiers for an operation that might require the skills obtained in Kenya.
(Reporting by Wanjiku Wanjiru; writing by Brian Okoth)