British King and Queen await in Kenya

The royals are to come amid an investigation of British troops stationed in the country launched by Nairobi in August.

Britain’s King Charles III and Queen Camilla will travel to Kenya on October 31 for a four-day state visit, Buckingham Palace announced on Wednesday. The trip comes as a parliamentary investigation into atrocities allegedly committed by British troops in Kenya gets underway.

In August, the Kenyan government launched an inquiry to investigate allegations of misconduct by the British Army Training Unit Kenya.

Accusations of murder, sexual assault, and damaging land have been leveled against the soldiers. Kenyan MPs have issued a call for the public to submit petitions regarding any alleged crimes by British soldiers. Investigations are to begin this month, while the country’s parliament will receive the final report by the end of the year.

The best known case concerned the brutal murder in 2012 of Agnes Wanjiru, a 21-year-old hairdresser, a crime that remains unsolved.

The chairman of the African Centre for Corrective and Preventive Action (ACCPA), James Mwangi, conveyed the victim’s family’s wish that the perpetrators be extradited to face justice in Kenya.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Kenya’s independence from the UK. Relations between the two countries have been close, despite a colonial legacy that included instances of violence, such as the suppression of the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s, which took the lives of thousands of Kenyans. Charles III will reportedly acknowledge the “painful aspects” of their shared history.

“The King and Queen will undertake a state visit to Kenya… to celebrate the warm relationship between the two countries and the strong and dynamic partnership they continue to forge,” according to Buckingham Palace, adding that “the King and Queen will visit Nairobi City County, Mombasa County and surrounding areas.”  

The visit will also reportedly touch on the past. “His Majesty will take time during the visit to deepen his understanding of the wrongs suffered in this period by the people of Kenya,” Chris Fitzgerald, deputy private secretary to the King, claimed.

“The King and Queen’s programme will celebrate the close links between the British and Kenyan people in areas such as the creative arts, technology, enterprise, education and innovation,” Fitzgerald said.

He also stated that the monarch will meet with Kenyan President William Ruto to address issues such as defense and climate change.

Charles III will be visiting a Commonwealth nation for the first time since ascending the throne last September. The Commonwealth is a group of 56 independent countries that have historical connections with the UK and the British Empire.

Charles took the throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth II last September. This will be the third foreign trip for the royal couple since then.

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