Socialist Worker

Repression was resisted

Issue No. 2247

The anti-colonial Mau Mau rebellion broke out in Kenya during 1952.

Rebels set up bases in the forests, mounting increasingly audacious raids.

The British responded by moving some 1.5 million people into detention camps to stop villagers supplying the guerrillas.

At least 80,000 passed through this “pipeline” of forced labour, torture and near starvation.

Government records say 11,503 rebels died and more than 1,000 were hanged.

The Kenyan Human Rights Commission thinks the figure is closer to 90,000.

The level of repression broke the back of the movement by 1956, but the settlers were forced to accept Kenyan independence in 1963.

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