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Border Patrols (Masai Warriors)

Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 14 April 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies on what terms of employment and under what conditions a 500-strong Masai warrior army of volunteers are being used to patrol the border of Kenya and the Northern Province of Tanganyika.

These Masai warriors are unpaid volunteers who offered to assist the Tanganyika police in patrolling the Kenya border in the Loliondo area and preventing persons of mixed Masai-Kikuyu race from supplying Mau Mau gangs in Kenya and harbouring fugitives.

In view of the fact that the Masai are the traditional enemies of the Kikuyu, is it advisable that they should be patrolling this particular border at this particular time?

As I said, they are trying to deal with people of mixed Masai-Kikuyu race. But, as a matter of fact, not more than 30 or 40 have turned up at any one time and lack of interest has led to most of them dropping out altogether.