Senator Cheruiyot calls for prosecution of British soldier in Kenya over Laikipia fire

UK and Kenyan soldiers try to contain the fire in Laikipia/ PHOTO: BATUK

A senator has called for the prosecution of a British soldier who allegedly started a fire in Laikipia.

Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot said Kenya has sufficient laws to jail the soldier.

“Let’s cut the long story…. The ‘johnny’ who started the Bush fire and killed the baby elephant MUST be tried in Kenya. We have sufficient laws to send him to jail. The same way if a Kenyan had done the same in the UK, he would be tried there. Plain and simple,” Cheruiyot tweeted.

The senator was referring to a soldier who in a Snapchat post confessed to starting a fire at the Lolldaiga military training area in Nanyuki, Laikipia county. More than 8,000 acres of pasture have gone up in flames.

The unnamed soldier took to Snapchat on March 20, 2021 to post the message: “Two months in Kenya later and we’ve only got eight days left. Been good, caused a fire, killed an elephant and feel terrible about it but hey-ho, when in Rome.”

The post elicited uproar among Kenyans online, coming days after another fire that reportedly started on Wednesday and killed five elephants.

UK High Commissioner Jane Marriott said the post is highly regrettable and will be investigated internally.

“I’ve seen that Snapchat account and I’m utterly appalled…I think that is outrageous and I’m very disappointed that a British soldier would post that. It is being investigated. There will be an internal British investigation by the Royal Military Police,” Marriott told Citizen TV.

High Commissioner Marriott said the soldiers are not immune to prosecution, but the Batuk [The British Army Training Unit Kenya] agreement says crimes committed while in the camp can only be tried in British courts.

UK envoy Marriott regrets Nanyuki fire, says soldier’s Snapchat post to be probed

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