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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-31-05

Kenyan Women Take Complaints of Rape by British Military to the United Nations

Several hundred Kenyan women from the Samburu and Masai tribes seeking compensation for being raped by the British military 15 years ago are taking their case to the United Nations. The British Department of Defense has recorded 2,187 complaints of rape by British soldiers over a period of 25 years, reports BBC News. Women in central Kenya are preparing to protest the delay by the British Army and Kenyan authorities in addressing the rape allegations.

At the March meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, a delegation of Kenyan women said they would seek justice through the United Nations Protocol, which Kenya has yet to ratify, that allows groups or individuals to submit their cases to a UN Committee. The Protocol requires governments to hold foreign troops found guilty of sexual and human rights abuses responsible, reports the East African Standard. Under the Protocol, if the troops are found guilty they are expected to face criminal proceedings in their countries of origin.

In 2003, the British High Commission stated that all reports of rape had been forged, angering many women’s rights activists. Joyce Majiwa, a lawyer representing the women, responded, “The children are there. I think they are more than sufficient evidence. The women are there. They are able to give oral testimony. There are eye witnesses who saw what was happening and we believe this will support the case,” reports BBC News.

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Media Resources: The East African Standard 3/28/05; BBC News 3/30/05


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