The Kenya Defence Forces and the British Army Training Unit have joined forces to create a specialised training exercise for Kenyan troops.
The intensive six-weeks training exercise is taking place in Lolldaiga Ranch in Laikipia County. During the bootcamp, Kenyan soldiers will be trained on riot control, counter-IED techniques, ambush drills as well as live fire marksmanship.
The training is in line with a defence cooperation agreement signed by the British and Kenyan governments in 2021.
The agreement signed by UK Defence Minister Ben Wallace and former Kenyan defence minister Monica Juma is aimed at enhancing coordination between two countries in their joint efforts to improve regional security in East Africa, including the fight against Al-Shabaab.
Speaking during the simulation exercise, Brigade Commander, Brigadier Jatan Gulla encouraged the participants to maximize the opportunity by sharing their real war experiences, their successes, and lessons learnt.
Conversely, Colonel Dancun Mann, Commander of the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK), congratulated the KDF forces for their agility during the exercise.
"The objective of the training is to equip the troops with relevant combat skills and techniques as a prerequisite for effective planning and execution of future tasks, noting the changing character of war," the KDF said in a statement.
The training comes at a critical moment in Kenya's political landscape.
The opposition is currently staging anti-government protests across the country which has necessitated timely and coordinated responses, lest the country slides into anarchy.
During the protests, Kenyan security agencies have been accused of using too much force and being unprofessional. The new agreement could help in stemming that.
The over 250,000-acre Lolldaiga conservancy in Laikipia will offer the KDF soldiers the perfect environment to learn new techniques and soak in new information.
According to the United Nations, the ongoing protests have led to the unfortunate deaths of more than 23 Kenyans.
During the agreement signing event, the British Defence Minister Ben Wallace reiterated that Kenya has long been the UK's defence partner of choice in East Africa.
"In a more uncertain world, we will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder as we tackle the threats of tomorrow," Wallace said.
The two countries also discussed a range of additional enhanced UK counter-terrorism support to Kenya, including increasing protection for tourists on the coast, where many of the 180,000 British tourists who visit Kenya every year travel to.
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