Monday, February 24, 2003
Expect to see this in the Guardian - 24th February 2003, 20.18

It is very hard to assess the evidence in the allegations detailed below although one can be sure that they will be publicised in lurid detail by those whose political agenda is to undermine the professional reputation of the British Army.

British soldiers practicing military manoeuvres in Kenya for several decades have been accused of raping local women in remote parts of northern Kenya. More than a hundred women allege they were raped by British soldiers while they were out herding, fetching water, collecting firewood or walking to and from school. Martyn Day, a British-based lawyer, who is preparing a case against the army, told the women: "The men who did this to you should have been thrown into prison and they would have thrown away the key but what has happened to them as far as we understand - Nothing!"

However, the standard of some of the evidence presented is unconvincing:

Day said that as late as 1999 and early 2000, rapes were still going on. In one incidence, 18 soldiers gang raped six women who were out collecting firewood near their camp. This angered the village but more incidents were reported about three months later, Day said. It is only then that policemen were called in to separate the soldiers from the villagers.

Martyn Day is a lawyer who takes on environmental and human rights cases including a class-action suit for smokers, POWs used as slave labour by the Japanese, and a previous case on Kenyans injured by leftover ordnance.

It is too early to tell what substance underlies these allegations.


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