Why the U.S. got started training the Kenya Police Service: 1977 Embassy cable 

R 041148Z MAR 77
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6574
INFO DA WASHDC//DAMO-SSA//
CDRTRADOC FT MONROE VA//ATTNG-PRD-SA-T//
USCINCEUR VAIHINGEN GERMANY//ECJ4/7-SARA-T//
CDRUSA CRIME LAB FT GORDON GA

C O N F I D E N T I A L NAIROBI 2870 {declassified, released 2009}

E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: MASS, PINT, KE
SUBJECT: FIREARMS IDENTIFICATION TRAINING FOR KENYA POLICE
REF: (A) STATE 017363, (B) 76 NAIROBI 13349,(C) DSAA 4058/76 282216Z DEC 76

1. IN REPLY TO JUSTIFICATION REQUESTED IN REFTEL A, EMBASSY
SUBMITS FOLLOWING:

2. PURPOSE OF PROPOSED TRAINING:

A. ENABLE GOK POLICE PERSONNEL TO QUALIFY AS EXPERTS IN
COURT TESTIMONY REGARDING BALLISTICS AND FIREARMS EXAMINATION.

B. TO IDENTIFY WEAPONS USED IN CRIMINAL AND TERRORIST
ACTIVITY BY TYPE, MODEL AND INDIVIDUAL WEAPON USING SCIENTIFIC
TECHNIQUES FOR COMPARISON AND EVALUATION.

C. TO ESTABLISH FROM EXISTING EVIDENCE THE OWNERSHIP AND
ORIGIN OF THESE WEAPONS.

3. USEFULNESS TO GOK:

A. COUNTER-GUERRILLA AND BANDIT OPERATIONS. PRIMARILY
IN NORTHERN PROVINCES DIRECTED AGAINST INFILTRATION
OF SOMALI SHIFTA GUERRILLAS. THESE OPERATIONS TO DATE HAVE
BEEN CONDUCTED BY THE KENYAN ARMY AND THE KENYA POLICE,
PARA-MILITARY GENERAL SERVICES UNIT (GSU). THEY ARE CONDUCTED
AS POLICE OPERATIONS REQUIRING ALL UNITS INVOLVED
TO RESTRICT THEIR ACTIVITIES TO THOSE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT.
THE SERVICES OF A COMPETENT FIREARMS EXAMINER WOULD BE
EXTREMELY VALUABLE TO THE GOK FROM THE STANDPOINT OF INITIAL
IDENTIFICATION OF THE TYPE AND ORIGIN OF WEAPONS USED AND
ALSO AS AN EXPERT WITNESS AT SUBSEQUENT COURT PROCEEDINGS.

B. CONVENTIONAL CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, TERRORISM. GOK
SOURCES ESTIMATE THAT THE NUMBER OF CONVENTIONAL CRIMES
(MURDER, ROBBERY, ETC.) INVOLVING THE USE OF A FIREARM HAVE
INCREASED APPROXIMATELY 50 PERCENT IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS.
POACHING IN THE NATIONAL PARKS REMAINS A SERIOUS PROBLEM WITH
POSSIBLE LONG TERM DAMAGE TO THE TOURIST INDUSTRY. KENYA MUST BE
CONSIDERED AN AREA OF POSSIBLE TERRORIST ACTIVITY BECAUSE
OF THE POLITICAL ORIENTATION AND MILITANCY OF HER NEIGHBORS.
A TRAINED FIREARMS AND BALLISTICS EXPERT WOULD BE A KEY
PERSON IN THE INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF ANY CASES
INVOLVING THE ABOVE TYPE OF ACTIVITY.

4. AS MENTIONED REFTEL B, THE KENYA POLICE, IN ADDITION TO
THE ARMED FORCES WITH FORENSIC LABORATORY SERVICES. THE
KENYA POLICE HAVE ADVISED THAT THE INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED
IN PROPOSED TRAINING COULD BE SECONDED TO THE KENYA ARMY
IF NECESSARY TO OVERCOME OBJECTIONS RAISED IN REFTEL C.
THE KENYA POLICE IS UNDER THE DIRECT CONTROL OF THE OFFICE
OF THE PRESIDENT.

5. DIRECT USG INTERESTS:

KENYA IS A MAJOR INTERNATIONAL CENTER, WITH SEVERAL
IMPORTANT MULTILATERAL CONFERENCES ANNUALLY ATTENDED BY
SUBSTANTIAL USG DELEGATIONS. MOREOVER, NAIROBI IS A
REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS FOR BOTH USG AND PRIVATE AMERICAN
ORGANIZATIONS. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE KENYA POLICE IS
THUS IN OUR INTEREST, AND THE COOPERATION OF THE KENYA
POLICE ON VARIOUS SECURITY REQUIREMENTS IS ALSO OF VALUE
TO USG. THIS COOPERATION MAY BECOME EVEN MORE VALUABLE IN
FUTURE IN AREAS SUCH AS COUNTER-TERRORISM AND DRUG ENFORECEMENT.
OFFERING TRAINING OF A STAFF TECHNICAL NATURE
ON REIMBURSABLE BASIS, IN A SPECIALTY FOR WHICH KENYA
BELIEVES WE ARE UNIQUELY QUALIFIED, IS A SMALL PRICE TO
PAY FOR CONTINUED CLOSE RELATIONS WITH KENYA POLICE.
MARSHALL

CONFIDENTIAL

Margaret P. Grafeld Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 22 May 2009

Link to Cable: Police Training Start 1977.

 

2 thoughts on “Why the U.S. got started training the Kenya Police Service: 1977 Embassy cable 

  1. Pingback: U.S. fights in Somalia; Old lions–Kissinger, Moi, Scowcroft, Brezenski–outlast the post-Cold War democratization era in East Africa  | AFRICOMMONS Blog

  2. Pingback: We all know that Kenya suffers from pervasive corruption; we have all been warned about lack of transparency in the election | AFRICOMMONS Blog

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