Unexploded Ordinance- Is the British Army doing enough?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by error_unknown, Sep 29, 2003.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. The British Army recently agreed an £4.5 million out-of-court settlement for over 200 Masai injured and maimed by unexploded British ordnance.
    The British army has conducted live-fire weapons training in Kenya for a number of months each year since 1945, when Britain was still the colonial power.

    About 500 people may have been killed since the exercises began, and many more injured, by UXO left behind by the soldiers. Many of the victims were children, attracted to the UXO by its shiny exterior. Many of the Maasai and Samburu tribes people are also illiterate, and therefore unable to read warning signs.

    Is enough genuinely being done by the British Army to prevent these injuries and deaths?
    £4.5 million is nothing to the MOD but there is a moral obligation here to clear areas efficiently and put competent preventative measures in place.
    If there isn't the man power...give the odd £4.5 million to these guys...they'll do a professional job and make the money go a long way.
  2. As far as I'm aware, live firing in Kenya was pretty much restricted to small arms and no ordinance.

    That being said, while the Masai are classed as illiterate, which they aren't, they are also not stupid. If someone gets their arm bit off by a croc, or bit by a snake, they know, as do their peers, able to read or not, that you keep your arm away from crocs and avoid snakes. :wink:
  3. Being illiterate wouldn’t really matter; big red signs don’t normally signal a good place to hang around. And as shotgun said, after 50 years of it being on your doorstep, you would think they would put two and two together.
  4. Quite frankly I'm pretty suspicious about the whole thing and I reckon the Government gave in too easily on this one. Firstly, we're not the only users of the place, the Kenyan Army also train there and I saw a post here a while back which suggested that the Israeli Army also use it? Secondly we're normally pretty good at range clearance with locations of "Duds" being plotted and recorded for future clearance. I did mortar safety there in the early 90's and don't recall anything unusual on the Range Safety Procedures front . There was also a Battery of Light Guns attached to that Battle Group incidentally and 105mm HE was definitely fired, not sure about smoke though. As for range markings etc. well it had been going on for a very long time so you'd think even the most primitive tribesman would get the idea that you need to take care in certain areas and that certain things are best left alone. Remember, it's not that easy to set unexploded artillery and mortar rounds off, you've generally got to annoy them, ideally by pounding on the nose cap or fuse with a hammer, that'll usually do it. HMG should have been a bit more robust here I think(and I said so at the time)
  5. Basically acording to an article I read the locals mess with any uxo they find to get the shiny bits to decorate spears thats why they have so many injuries , and , have also heard of soldiers burying dumping ammo because it too hot heavy though wether this is true or not i dont know
    guess cheaper to settle than drag through court like bloddy sunday