British soldier killed off-duty in Kenya


Deceased British soldier Kevin McCool on bike 7 (right). [Courtesy]

A British soldier died in unclear circumstances while riding a motorcycle in Kenya. 

According to the UK’s Ministry of Defence statement issued on Friday, Kevin McCool, 32, who was off-duty died on November 29. 

The ministry did not release the circumstances surrounding McCool’s death, only saying he “tragically died while off-duty.”

Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps said the death of the soldier was a “tragic loss,” but did not provide details surrounding the mysterious death.

However, Shapps noted that from the tributes flowing in from those who knew McCool, it was clear that he “was an exceptional person and an exceptional soldier, loved and respected in equal measure, who served his country with distinction.”

He said that the soldier had a “glittering operational record,” and before his untimely death, he had served in Europe, the Middle East, the Falklands, and Africa.

Shapps revealed that in all these areas where MacCool served, he always left an indelible mark. His life revolved and thrived around the military environment, he disclosed. 

According to a report filed by BBC MacCool, was on a motorcycle trip away from a military base when he was attacked. 

The UK’s Ministry of Defence said the late soldier is survived by his mother, father, two sisters and two brothers.

The Ministry statement said that the late MacCool was commissioned from Sandhurst in August 2014 and described him as a “fearless” man who had the “utmost integrity”. 

The UK has a permanent military training support base in Nanyuki, that employs about 100 permanent personnel with another 280 reinforcing personnel on short tours.

Kenya and the UK share an important defense relationship that supports regional stability and counter-terrorism. 

There have been cases of misconduct and misbehaviour by the British soldiers, some touching on murder. A case in mind is the murder of Agnes Wanjiru in 2012, whose body was discovered in a septic tank.

During King Charles III's recent visit, there were talks that the two countries would work on amending the defense agreement with the UK, especially in connection with the case of Wanjiru. 

The former coloniser has a five-year programme whose objective is to help the country to establish the first marine commando unit.

The King’s recent five-day tour to the country included an engagement at the Mombasa-based naval base, where he inspected the progress of the programme.