Kenyan elimination programs: UK accused of complicity

Kenyan elimination programs: UK accused of complicity
The UK is accused of complicity in the so-called ‘elimination programs’ of terrorism suspects carried out by Kenyan anti-terror forces.

Members of the Kenyan intelligence and special police units, including the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU), say they carry out extrajudicial killings as part of their counter-terrorism efforts. They claim the UK knew of the killings carried out by Kenyan death squads.

In a video produced by Al Jazeera, sources say they have received training and intelligence from the British military. Kenya’s ATPU was established in 2003 and receives funding from both the UK and US governments.

“When these people [UK officials] come for the training, I believe that all this information is being passed to them,” a source says in the video, referring to the elimination programs.

He says despite their knowledge of it, the British don’t intervene by urging senior commanders to stop their practices.

“Once they give you the training, that is all. They go back to their country and they leave us to do their work.”

In an intelligence and security committee report, the UK government and MI6 were criticized for not pressing Kenya hard enough about its human rights record in its fight against terrorism and for accepting Kenyan assurances at face value.

It added that the ATPU “has a close working relationship with HM government.”

The Guardian has obtained an advance copy of a documentary that will be broadcast on Al Jazeera on Monday, December 8.

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Kenya is currently battling both an Islamist insurgency and al-Shabaab extremists based in neighboring Somalia. Last year, terrorist gunmen stormed Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall and killed 67 people before Kenyan forces quelled the attack.

In November last year, reports emerged that Kenya carried out “pre-emptive” killings of suspected radicals. A serving member of the ATPU told the BBC: “We opt to eliminate them. We identify you, we gun you down in front of your family, and we begin with the leaders.”