General Service Unit of Kenya is commonly referred to as the ‘Toa Fujo Uone’ force by the Kenyan populace. They are commonly dispatched to deal with general public disturbance, dispersion of rioting university students, rowdy political gatherings and clashes between communities.
The General Service Unit is very dreaded among the lay people of Kenya as it is believed to be very ruthless and crude in execution of their missions. It is the police force that elicits fear among civilly disorderly members of the public. Just like any other Special Forces unit, it operations are very covert and are not spoken about casually.
The General Service Unit of Kenya is the standby specialized force of the Kenya Police Service. The GSU is one of the acclaimed specialized units globally making its way to some of the Special Forces directories of the world. It is listed in the prestigious ‘Global Special Operations Forces Directory’.
The General Service Unit of Kenya discreteness leaves most of the operations it has undertaken to the observers’ speculations of its involvement. The force is speculated to have been involved in numerous operations within Kenya and across East and Central Africa.
Some of the great achievements that the General Service Unit has openly acknowledged include;
- The 1961 Zanzibar Uprising which was the first time that the GSU was in an external mission. It only took the GSU 2 days to quell the civil disturbance that had claimed at least 90 lives
- 1963-1968 Shifta War in the North Frontier Districts of Kenya after guerilla war by secessionist to join Somalia. They left a legend that cut across from Northern Kenya to Mogadishu; they were a contributing factor to the end of the war.
- The abortive 1982 Coup d’e Tat by the Kenya Air Force defector officer where the GSU together with the Paratroopers escorted the then President Daniel Moi from the Rift Valley region and stopped the attempted takeover.
Contrary to popular opinion, the General Service Unit is not a conventional police force but rather troops of commandos that have received training from the esteemed British’s SAS, US’ Delta Force, France’s EPIGN and Israel’s Sayeret Matkal.
The GSU has general been a male dominated squadron that only recently started recruiting women mainly due to the rigorous training and unpredictable and risky work related demands. This is the force that is called upon to conduct crackdown on emerging crime trends in the country.
The key objectives of the General Service Unit of Kenya is, “to deal with matters pertaining to internal security across the republic; to be a reserve force to deal with special operations and civil disorder and to be an operational force that is not intended for use of a permanent static nature.”
The General Service of Kenya commandos are jacks of trade, they draw expertise in numerous fields ranging from survival techniques in enemy territories to expertise in all manner of weapons, demolition, sniping, reconnaissance,sabotage, evacuation, bomb disposal, Counter terrorism, night combat, desert warfare, urban warfare, infiltration, mountain warfare, amphibious engagements and surveillance, VIP Protection.
The General Service Unit general handles violent crime, ethnic violent outbreaks, demonstration and high value targets protection. They are always at the frontline of war zones owing to their extreme training and swift maneuver.