Army Major defends T-72 tanks purchase

A Kenya Army Major has defended the ongoing acquisition of T-72 tanks, saying two years of training have adequately prepared Kenya’s military for the Russian built weaponry.

The Russian built T-72 tank can run on three types of fuel: diesel, benzene or kerosene.

The Russian built T-72 tank can run on three types of fuel: diesel, benzene or kerosene.

“Kenya Armoured Corps has the capacity in skills to fully utilise these T-72,” explains Major Tom ole Nkarei. “The purchase of these tanks now gives our Armed Forces the capacity to ensure the exploitation of our vast natural resources without fear of armed conflict with covetous neighbours.”

Major Nkarei was responding to a Nairobi Chronicle article which said that the Kenyan government would force its Army to use the tanks so as to prove that they were not being smuggled into Southern Sudan.

The tanks were on their way to the port of Mombasa from Ukraine when the ship carrying them, the MV Faina, was captured by Somali pirates in September 2008. At the time, it was widely believed that Kenya was helping the government of South Sudan to break a United Nations arms embargo.

The claims were embarrassing because it was Kenya that helped broker an end to the civil war between South Sudan and the government in Khartoum in 2005.

MV Faina was released from captivity on February 5th 2009, and the whole world waited to see the final destination of the ship’s cargo. Now, the Kenyan military has stated that the tanks were part of its strategic arms acquisition.

According to Major Nkarei, the Kenya Armoured Corps used the expected legal processes of identification, sampling, comparative analysis, tendering and purchasing to acquire the 33 tanks and others already in service.

“Army command and control structures were thoroughly trained in the usage of these ordnance in India and Ukraine over the past two years. Subsequently, a selected group of senior NCO (non-commissioned officers) who normally run the Corps also underwent the same rigourous training on these ordnance in India and Ukraine,” explains the Major.

“Training of the rest of the Corps has continued here at home in our very adequately equipped tank schools,” Nkarei adds.

On claims that the Kenya Army may not adapt to Russian weapons because of training in NATO equipment and tactics, Major Nkarei says: “the use of different ordnance is not a complicated matter, just as it is not space-rocket science to drive a left-hand vehicle while trained to use a right-hand vehicle.”

Nkarei has worked with the Kenya Armoured Corps for 13 years. He has also worked with the 20 Para Battalion where he saw action in Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Southern Sudan and Rwanda.

Nkarei has further disclosed that there is no resistance within the rank and file to weapons purchased from China, Korea and Russia. He describes such assertions as, “utterly without any facts and full of unsubstantiated conjecture.”

8 Responses

  1. […] With the whole world convinced that Kenya was helping the government of Southern Sudan bust a United Nations arms embargo, the Kenya Army laid claim to the weapons. Top military commanders said that the tanks were part of an arms acquisition programme and that Kenyan crews had even been trained in use of the tanks. […]

  2. […] n’a su ce que sont advenus exactement depuis les T-72, et nul n’en a vu équiper vraimentl’armée Kenyane. Seulement voilà, placée au pied du mur d’un beau mensonge d’état, elle doit se les coltiner […]

  3. LOL What about the RPGs and anti anti aircraft missiles. Really we were just fed bs about the disappearance of the Ship. enough with the lies you were caught oit and everyone knows. Im amazed at the lies the world wide media tried to whitewash this obvious evidence of complicity in neo colonialism in Sudan by the west. Wer are arming child soldiers in this proxy war to kill their proxy soldiers. Civilians are the victims all around its disgusting

  4. role of clinical officers in the forces

  5. u guys suck and stink like chicken shit….,

  6. Are these being use to day in Somalia?

  7. Why is kenya buying so outdated machines. iv just read an article about a man wanted to buy a tank for himself and he goes to czech republic only 2 find a field of T-72 tanks abandoned by the soviets only to selled by private citizens ex millitary who grabed them at $65000.grow up and stop using tax payers money un wisely buy something that is not from the cold war.

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