Socialist Worker

British government to open secret files on Mau Mau war in Kenya

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2246

The British government has admitted holding 1,500 secret files on its role in the brutal suppression of Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion in the 1950s.

Kenyan victims demanding compensation for torture by British forces during the war are due back in court this week.

The government is now to release the documents to the high court in London. It has denied any liability for torture.

Official contemporary records of concentration camps and collective punishments for villages disappeared when the British withdrew as Kenya gained independence in 1963.

A colonial office memo at the time said they were removing files that “might embarrass HMG [the government], might embarrass members of the police military forces, public servants or others.”

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Tue 5 Apr 2011, 18:23 BST
Issue No. 2246
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