Rule Britannia: Kenyan Colonial Murder Spree Comes Back To Haunt UK



From The Celtic League: The case brought this week by five Kenyan citizens in the UK High Court has the potential to open up to scrutiny the vicious campaign waged by the British government and colonial authorities to suppress the nationalist uprising of the Kenya Land and Freedom Army in the 1950s. Many of the violent techniques used by the UK were eventually deployed elsewhere including in Ulster. Many of the British army officers who honed their violent and torturous counter-insurgency skills in Kenya went on to train those who served in Ulster. In fact so deep-seated were the `lessons’ of the Kenya conflict that the British Army in Iraq was perpetrating the same techniques of torture on detainees as their predecessors had done half a century before.

Already solicitors acting for the five have forced the United Kingdom government
to admit that a staggering fifteen thousand documents previously thought lost
which were removed from Kenya just prior to independence are still in existence.
Many of these files document in graphic detail the abuse meted out by the
British to detainees.

The admission has implications for similarly bloody episodes in the UK colonial
past with hitherto unseen files on British `insurgent’ suppression operations in
Malaya, Cyprus, Palestine and Aden thought to be gathering dust in the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office archives.

It’s a testament to the success of British government propaganda that for over
fifty years the rising by what were termed `Mau Mau’ insurgents has seen the
Kenyan freedom fighters portrayed as bloodthirsty and vicious with most of the
publicised atrocities laid at their door.

The truth which has started to emerge in recent years has reflected that there
was indeed a vicious war fought in Kenya but most of the atrocities were
committed by the security forces and documented testimony indicates that the
British Army, Police and Auxiliaries engaged in acts which were not only violent
but bestial and depraved.
The three men and two women involved in today’s case say they suffered
castration, sexual abuse and severe beatings in detention camps administered by
the British rule and now want an apology and financial compensation. Their
claims and the recently revealed `secret’ files will give increased credence to
recent more objective books on the fight of the Kenya Land and Freedom Army
including David Anderson’s (2005). Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in
Kenya and the End of Empire and by Caroline Elkins (2005). Britain’s Gulag: The
Brutal End of Empire in Kenya.
Anderson’s book reveals a staggering 1090 executions of insurgents occurred and
Elkins puts the death toll caused by the counter-insurgency at over 70,000 (and
possibly in the hundreds of thousands).
Techniques learned in Kenya were exported elsewhere to deal with problems in
other areas the British regarded as trouble-spots. Kenyan security techniques
were even extrapolated to the British Isles where the practice of running
counter-gangs and murder squads was used to infamous effect by the British
security forces in the six counties with protestant paramilitaries playing the
role of `compliant natives’.


Related articles on Celtic News here:
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works
to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights
human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.
TEL (UK) 01624 877918 MOBILE (UK) 07624 491609
Internet site at:
This entry was posted in Accountability, Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights & Liberties, Geopolitics, History, Ideology, imperial, Independence/Nationalism, ireland, War & Peace and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Rule Britannia: Kenyan Colonial Murder Spree Comes Back To Haunt UK

  1. Pingback: Rule Britannia (2): 1948 British ‘massacre’ of Malaysian villagers, cover-ups by UK |

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