According to the German paper, “Süddeutsche”, Germany and the USA are behind the financing and supply of equipment to a Kenyan torture unit. The torture group not only kills but tortures unknowing civilians in Kenya in the name of learning “Anti-Terrorism” tactics. The cooperation is part of the common struggle of the Federal Republic and the United States against international terrorism.
The USA has in the past few years increased the number of their army troops on the continent dramatically, it organizes its African missions in Möhringen near Stuttgart in Germany where the American High Command Africom is located.
The Federal Criminal Police (BKA) recently offered the Kenyan police together with the infamous Kenyan Special Forces Anti Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) at least 17 training sessions on “Fight Against Terrorism”. Surprisingly, BKA also supplied the Kenyan police with white Nissan Jeeps, which are the same kind ATPU uses.
According to a report by the UN, the ATPU systematically tortures suspects. A study, “We’re Tired of Taking You to the Court“, by the Open Society Justice Initiative and the Kenyan non-governmental organisation Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) based in Mombasa, provides a chilling record of counterterrorism abuses by the ATPU.
Here are some of the credible allegations of APTU abuses you can read about in the report:
- Extrajudicial execution of Kassim Omollo and Salim Mohammed Nero in June 2013.
- Unlawful use of lethal force against Omar Faraj in October 2012. (Faraj’s wife, who the ATPU mistakenly thought was fatally injured in the operation, overheard the ATPU say they would leave her to die.)
- Beating of Swaleh Abdullah Said, a man captured in Mombasa on suspicion of terrorist-related activities, including the Westgate Shopping Mall attack.
- A November 13-14, 2012, ATPU operation in Mombasa during which the unit captured several terrorist suspects and beat them prior to bringing them to various police stations.
- Enforced disappearance of Badru Mramba on November 14, 2012.
- Arbitrary detention, physical and psychological abuse, and rendition to Uganda of suspects in the July 11, 2010, World Cup bombing in Kampala, Uganda. (Two separate Kenyan court rulings deemed those renditions unconstitutional.)
- Rendition of numerous individuals from Kenya to Somalia in 2007, who were then rendered to Ethiopia. (A Kenyan court found the detentions and renditions unlawful and amounted to torture. The now former head of the ATPU, Nicholas Kamwende, said in an affidavit he was involved in the operation that led to the apprehension and rendition of the plaintiffs.)
When Süddeutsche confronted the Federal government with these findings, according to the government, “The training sessions only discuss working methods which are in line with the rule of law and respect human and civil rights. On why Germany was financing ATPU, the aim was to “help the group understand the rule of law and learn to respect human and civil rights”. The government also explained that, “A waiver of exchange of information, particularly in the fight against terrorism would be downright negligent.” Which explains their real intention in working with the group.