Kenya: Mau-Mau Case - Opening Pandora's Box?
22 July 2011
Four elderly Kenyans, who participated in the Mau-Mau rebellion against the British in the 1950s and 60s have won an appeal in the London High Court to try the United Kingdom (UK) for atrocities they suffered during Kenya's liberation struggle.
The Mau-Mau war veterans had argued that they were beaten and sexually tortured by officers acting for the UK administration as it attempted to suppress the rebellion. The four claimants are calling for an apology and compensation.
In a case that is likely to mirror campaigns by some Africans to have colonial states offer compensation for damage inflicted during colonial rule, the London High Court judge, Justice Richard McCombe, observed that the claimants had an arguable case in law and that there was need for a full trial in order to determine whether the claimants had a strong case or not.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had tried to have the case thrown out, stating that it could not be held legally responsible for atrocities committed long ago outside the UK and that upon independence, legal responsibility shifted to the Kenyan Republic. The judge, however, termed the UK efforts to avoid responsibility as "dishonourable".
The question on the lips of many is whether a successful case will set a potentially tricky precedent whereby former colonial powers are swamped with lawsuits for compensation.
There are several worldwide precedents for paying reparations to states or peoples in compensation for historical wrongs. On the African continent, a recent example is the case of Italy's 2008 "friendship pact" with Libya in which the former paid the latter compensation of $5 billion as reparations for its 30-year colonial rule. The package involved construction projects, student grants, and pensions for Libyan soldiers who served with the Italians during World War II.
Some, however, argued that Italy's compensation was not a blank check and that much of the $5 billion was earmarked for Italian approved projects to benefit Italian trade throughout North Africa. To this line of thought, the economic benefits for Italy outweighed the "reparations".
It was Libya's case that prompted African countries to raise demands for compensation for being victims of colonisation at the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2009.
The claim has raised questions about whether compensation to Africa is necessary and feasible. There is no doubt that colonial-era activities in Africa undermined the property and rights of many indigenous people.
Indeed, some of Africa's problems including ethnic tensions and underdevelopment are, to an extent, traceable to the actions of colonial-era powers.
However some of the countries that may want to make reparation claims have deeply corrupt and inefficient governments that have wrought havoc on their citizens in ways comparable to historical colonial systems. The other issue is that some of the claims for reparations lack adequate documentary evidence to support them. Moreover, do the former colonial powers have the political will and resources to pay for compensation to Africa?
Justice must not be deferred or consigned to a forgotten or silenced history and while Africa's claims to compensation may be legitimate, there also many more obstacles to encounter and overcome before the issue of compensation can be satisfactorily resolved.
Compiled by Timothy Walker of the African Conflict Prevention Programme of the ISS.
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Ron: The British have been torturing, killing, mutilating and despoiling Africans for a very long time. Huge numbers of native peoples in Kenyan did not survive the brutality of the British authorities. And they seem proud of it. For instance Wikipedia which is controlled by agents of the Talmudists in the City of London and their minions says, among other things:
At least 1,800 African civilians along with 200 British soldiers and policemen and 32 European settlers were killed by the Mau Mau. [Ron: It seems probably that a sizeable number of the African civilians allegedly killed by the Mau Mau were killed by the British in Black Ops using local indigenous psychopaths just as today the Anglo-US and Israeli military and secret services use so-called suicide bombings etc to kill huge numbers of Iraqis, Afghanis and Pakistanis. They then BLAME those deaths on Muslim "terrorists".].The colonial government believed the number of Kenyans killed from all instances to be 11,503, but David Anderson believes that the true figure is likely more than 20,000. Elkins claims it is as high as 70,000 or that they could be in the hundreds of thousands. Elkins' numbers, however, have been solidly rebutted by the British demographer John Blacker, in an article in African Affairs, in which he demonstrated in detail that Elkins' numbers were over-estimated and that the total number of African deaths was around 50,000. Blacker's article deals directly with Elkins' claim that up to 300,000 Kikuyu were "unaccounted for" at the 1962 census, judged by comparative population growth rates for other ethnic groups since the previous 1958 census. Of particular note is the number of hangings authorized by the colonial courts: by the end of the Emergency, the grand total was 1,090.At no other time or place in the British empire was capital punishment used so liberally—the total is more than double the number executed by the French in Algeria.
Atrocities were inflicted by all sides. As many as 150,000 Kikuyu were screened by the British and Kenyan authorities. As noted above, screening was a major source of human rights violations and caused great resentment.
[E]lectric shock was widely used, as well as cigarettes and fire. Bottles (often broken), gun barrels, knives, snakes, vermin, and hot eggs were thrust up men's rectums and women's vaginas. The screening teams whipped, shot, burned and mutilated Mau Mau suspects, ostensibly to gather intelligence for military operations and as court evidence.
Mau Mau militants were also guilty of widespread atrocities. At Lari, on the night of March 25–26, 1953, Mau Mau forces herded 120 Kikuyu into huts and set fire to them, killing any who attempted to escape. Kikuyu were also tortured, mutilated and murdered by Mau Mau in large numbers.
[Ron: Remember when reading this that Wikipedia is written and/or audited by the agents of the Talmudic victors in Kenya and hence it tends to distort the truth when accusing the Mau Mau of atrocities which may well have been instigated and organised by the British AS IS TYPICALLY DONE TODAY wherever the Anglo-US military occupies foreign lands. The atrocities we occasionally here about at Abu Graib in Iraq and Bagram in Afghanistan and elsewhere, are not a new phenomenon. The British and Amerikkans have been torturing and killing native peoples for hundreds of years].
A British officer describes his actions after capturing three known Mau Mau:
I stuck my revolver right in his grinning mouth and I said something, I don't remember what, and I pulled the trigger. His brains went all over the side of the police station. The other two Mickeys [Mau Mau] were standing there looking blank. I said to them that if they didn't tell me where to find the rest of the gang I'd kill them too. They didn't say a word so I shot them both. One wasn't dead so I shot him in the ear. When the sub-inspector drove up, I told him that the Mickeys tried to escape. He didn't believe me but all he said was 'bury them and see the wall is cleared up.'
Contrary to African customs and values, [Mau Mau members] assaulted old people, women and children. The horrors they practiced included the following: decapitation and general mutilation of civilians, torture before murder, bodies bound up in sacks and dropped in wells, burning the victims alive, gouging out of eyes, splitting open the stomachs of pregnant women. No war can justify such gruesome actions. In man's inhumanity to man there is no race distinction. The Africans were practising it on themselves. There was no reason and no restraint on both sides.[Ron: Knowing what we NOW know, it is highly likely that these actions were not done by Mau Mau but by taken by British led natives as happens today in LIBYA and elsewhere.].
Settler groups, displeased with the government's response to the increasing Mau Mau threat created their own units to combat the Mau Mau. One settler with the Kenya Police Reserve's Special Branch described an interrogation of a Mau Mau, suspected of murder, which he assisted: "By the time I cut his balls off he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket. Too bad, he died before we got much out of him."
After the discovery of the Lari massacre (between 10 pm and dawn that night), colonial security services retaliated on Kikyu suspected of being Mau Mau. These were shot, and later denied burial. There is also evidence that these reprisal shootings continued for several days. (See the reports of 21 and 27 men killed on 3rd and 4 April, respectively.)
Thirty-two British civilians were murdered by Mau Mau militants. The most well known Mau Mau victim was Michael Ruck, aged six, who was murdered along with his parents. Newspapers in Kenya and abroad published graphic murder details, including images of young Michael with bloodied teddy bears and trains strewn on his bedroom floor.
[Ron: The Khazars and their media haven't changed have they? AGAIN, it is highly possible that events such as this one WHERE FALSE FLAGS!]
In 1952 the poisonous latex of the African milk bush was used by members of Mau Mau to kill herds of cattle in an incident of biological warfare.
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