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'Stronger' Resolve In Kenya To Fight Al-Shabaab After Attack

The UK High Commissioner to Kenya said the country now has a "stronger" resolve to defeat Al-Shabaab fighters.

Video: UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, speaks to Forces News from Nairobi.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta is more determined than ever to fight Al-Shabaab in Somalia after the group’s attack on a Nairobi hotel, Britain’s High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, has told Forces News.

“I’ve spoken to President Kenyatta since this attack and his resolve to pursue the campaign in Somalia is actually stronger,” Mr Hailey said.

Kenyan troops in Somalia are supporting the Mogadishu Government in their fight against Al-Shabaab. Soldiers from other East African nations are also involved, as are a small number of British troops.

Smoke rises from the blast area after an attack at an upmarket hotel and office complex in Nairobi 150119 Credit PA.jpg
Smoke rises from the blast area after the attack (Picture: PA).

British troops train in Kenya each year and Mr Hailey described it as a "real partnership with the Kenyans".

Based in Nanyuki, 200 km north of Nairobi, is British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK).

A small part of BATUK is in Nairobi and the unit provides training to units about to deploy on operations or high-readiness tasks. BATUK is made up of 100 permanent staff.

 

Grenadier Guards training in Kenya (Picture: MOD).
Grenadier Guards training in Kenya (Picture: MOD).

“We’re not just bringing our people here to train them. We’re training alongside the Kenyans, we’re learning from them and they’re learning from us,” said Mr Hailey.

“And I think one thing we’ve seen on the counter-terrorist side, where we work also very closely together, is how strong the Kenyan response was to this attack.

"Five years ago the Westgate Mall here was attacked, this time their response was sharper, quicker, more effective.

“It dealt with the terrorists much more quickly and much more effectively. And that’s partly the result of the training we’ve done with them."

At least 21 people, including one Briton, died in the attack on the DusitD2 Hotel.

A member of the SAS is thought to have been involved in the mission to secure the hotel; the MOD however does not comment on the identity of members of Special Forces.