Wednesday, 24 June 2009

More on the Mau Mau

by Kathryn Hadley

Yesterday afternoon, the London-based law firm Leigh Day & Co issued a formal claim for compensation for human rights abuses against the British government on behalf of five Kenyan veterans of the Mau Mau uprising.

According to the Kenya Human Rights Commission, the Mau Mau uprising played an important role in the struggle for Kenyan independence. The movement culminated in an armed uprising against white settlers in the European-owned farmlands in central Kenya in 1952. It was, however, part of a wider and longer struggle against British colonialism, which spread beyond the farmlands of central Kenya. The movement is also believed to have drawn support outside Kenya and was notably supported by Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indian government.

According to the Kenya Human Rights Commission, the Kenyans who participated in the uprising against British colonial rule 'rightfully did so under the internationally recognized principle of self-determination. Britain's response to the Mau Mau uprising was a classical case of killing a fly using a sledge hammer. Armed with bomb-dropping warplanes and Her Majesty's well-equipped soldiers, Britain's response against the villainously labeled "Mau Mau terrorists" was nothing but a sickening show of imperial ruthlessness and brute force.'

Further information about the case is available on the website of the Kenya Human Rights Commission
A press release on the Mau Mau reparation suit issued in Nairobi in May this year is notbaly available on the website.

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