British Army provides counter-improvised explosive device training in Kenya

British Army provides counter-improvised explosive device training in Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya © Waceke kamau

The British Army will expand its efforts to provide counter-improvised explosive device training to Kenyan security forces.

A counter-improvised explosive device training facility at the Humanitarian Peace Support School in Nairobi, Kenya, will be expanded into a regional centre of excellence thanks to the UK’s support, and will provide training to troops participating in the African Union Mission in Somalia from Kenya and other partner nations in the region.

The UK’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund will contribute £2.3m per year to the centre, having already trained 1,000 military and police personnel from countries in East Africa since 2015. The centre of excellence is expected to be open and fully-functioning by November 2020, and provide counter-terrorism and improvised explosive device disposal training for Kenyan troops deployed in Somalia.

What support is the British Army offering to Kenyan security forces?

The expansion of the training programme at the Humanitarian Peace Support School is part of a wider-ranging security agreement between the UK and Kenya, which includes an additional £7m to support the African Union Mission in Somalia. The use of improvised explosive devices in Somalia has increase by 300% since 2015, and many casualties have been civilians.

The UK’s defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, highlighted the UK’s efforts to support the defence and security capabilities of countries across Africa, and suggested that the expansion of the counter-improvised explosive device training programme in Kenya would further contribute to the effort at this scale.

Williamson also suggested that the UK’s collaboration with Kenya’s security forces would help to prevent terrorism and other challenges that the UK is facing. He said: “From supporting counter-terrorist operations in Mali to improvised explosive device disposal training in Kenya, our Armed Forces are helping to build a more secure Africa. By tackling the terrorist threat abroad we are helping to keep our streets safe at home.”

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