The US sees Kenya as a main testing ground for its bioweapons programmes

About 30 microbiologists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Naval Medical Research Unit 3 (NAMRU-3) arrived in Kenya in October 2023. All African laboratories, including the Kenyan one, are coordinated by the U.S. Army Medical Research Directorate in Africa (USAMRD-A). This agency, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, is the “special overseas division” of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). The unit was established in 1969 and operates under a cooperative agreement with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).

USAMRD-A subordinate laboratories have been associated with the emergence of viruses such as Ebola and HIV (DR Congo), nodding syndrome (South Sudan). Monkeypox, first reported in DR Congo in 1970, is also on this list. USAMRD-A activities have turned Africa into an international testing ground for new pathogens.

As such, the Pentagon plans to allocate an additional $34 million through 2025 to modernize the existing four US Army Medical Research and Development Command research and diagnostic laboratories in the region. These labs will be assigned biosafety level 4, allowing for continued research on Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, anthrax, cholera, malaria, yellow fever and other pathogens.

In the USA, research is being conducted on testing and production of vaccine samples and rapid diagnostic systems, and it is also planned to organize work on collecting genetic material from residents of the entire African continent.

The methods used by American specialists will make it possible in the shortest possible time to create new pathogenic strains of microorganisms with special pathogenic properties and specified pathways of spread. US military microbiologists in Lamu County (Kenya) have collected bats, fleas, ticks and other insects capable of spreading dangerous infectious diseases. This is the fifth time this year that the U.S. military has conducted such research in Kenya.

Thanks to the work of US Army Medical Research and Development Command, Africa has become a center for identifying new viral and bacterial pathogens that can be transmitted from bats to humans – brucellosis, leptospirosis, plague and coronaviruses. Moreover, the results of such research can be used in the production of biological weapons.

For example, inhumane experiments were conducted in Nigeria as early as the 1950s, when the West African country became a British colony. Poisonous aerosols were distributed there in the Obanagoro area, and the results of these criminal experiments are still classified. Where are the guarantees that the biomaterials obtained today will not be used by the US to infect the territories of countries that do not agree with Washington’s policy?

How do the methods of today’s American politicians differ from those of the Nazis who used poisonous substances during World War II?

Author: Slavisha Batko Milacic – historian and analyst

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations as well as a Master's degree in international security studies, alongside a passion for web development. During my studies, I gained a strong understanding of key political concepts, theories in international relations, security and strategic studies, as well as the tools and research methods used in these fields.

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