Mau Mau rebels[A]
Commanders and leaders
Winston Churchill (1951–1955)
Anthony Eden (1955–1957)
Harold Macmillan (1957–1960)
Stanley Mathenge (MIA)
10,000 regular troops
Kikuyu Home Guard 
Casualties and losses
12,000 killed (officially); perhaps 20,000+ killed (unofficially)
Civilian Victims of Mau Mau:
Native Kenyans killed: 1,819
Native Kenyans wounded: 916
Asians killed: 26
Asians wounded: 36
Europeans killed: 32
Europeans wounded: 26
Mau Mau Uprising
Assassination of Waruhiu
Operation Jock Scott
Ruck Family massacre
Christmas Eve Battle
Capture of Kimathi
Mau Mau Uprising
Mau Mau Uprising (1952–64), also known as the Mau Mau Rebellion,
Kenya Emergency, and the Mau Mau Revolt, was a war in the British
Kenya Colony (1920–63). Dominated by the Kikuyu people, Meru
people and Embu people, the Mau Mau also comprised units of Kamba and
Maasai peoples who fought against the white European colonist-settlers
in Kenya, the British Army, and the local
Kenya Regiment (British
colonists, local auxiliary militia, and pro–British Kikuyu
The capture of rebel leader, Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi, on 21
October 1956, signalled the defeat of the Mau Mau, however, the
rebellion survived until after Kenya's independence from Britain,
driven mainly by the Meru units. One of the last Mau Mau generals,
Baimuingi, was killed shortly after
Kenya attained self-rule.
The Mau Mau failed to capture widespread public support, partly
due to the British policy of divide and rule, and the Mau Mau
movement remained internally divided, despite attempts to unify the
factions. The British, meanwhile, applied the strategy and tactics
they developed in suppressing the
Malayan Emergency (1948–60).
Mau Mau Uprising
Mau Mau Uprising created a rift between the European colonial
Kenya and the metropole, and also resulted in violent
divisions within the Kikuyu community. Suppressing the Mau Mau
Uprising in the Kenyan colony cost Britain £55 million.
2.1 Native labourer categories
3 Mau Mau warfare
3.1 Women and the Rebellion
4 British Reaction
4.1 British reaction to the uprising
4.2 State of Emergency declared (October 1952)
4.3 Military operations
4.3.1 Operation Anvil
4.3.2 Air power
4.4 Swynnerton Plan
4.5 Detention programme
4.5.1 Interrogations and confessions
4.5.2 Works camps
4.7 Political and social concessions by the British
6 War crimes
6.1 British war crimes
6.1.1 Chuka Massacre
6.1.2 Hola massacre
6.2 Mau Mau war crimes
6.2.1 Lari massacres
7.1 Compensation claims
8 Mau Mau status in Kenya
9 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Map of Kenya
The origin of the term Mau Mau is uncertain. According to some members
of Mau Mau, they never referred to themselves as such, instead
preferring the military title
Kenya Land and Freedom Army (KLFA).
Some publications, such as Fred Majdalany's State of Emergency: The
Full Story of Mau Mau, claim it was an anagram of Uma Uma (which means
"get out get out") and was a military codeword based on a secret
language-game Kikuyu boys used to play at the time of their
circumcision. Majdalany goes on to state that the British simply used
the name as a label for the Kikuyu ethnic community without assigning
any specific definition.
As the movement progressed, a Swahili backronym was adopted: "Mzungu
Aende Ulaya, Mwafrika Apate Uhuru" meaning "Let the foreigner go back
abroad, let the African regain independence". J.M. Kariuki, a
member of Mau Mau who was detained during the conflict, postulates
that the British preferred to use the term Mau Mau instead of KLFA in
an attempt to deny the Mau Mau rebellion international legitimacy.
Kariuki also wrote that the term Mau Mau was adopted by the rebellion
in order to counter what they regarded as colonial propaganda.
Another possible origin is a mishearing of the Kikuyu word for oath
The principal item in the natural resources of
Kenya is the land, and
in this term we include the colony's mineral resources. It seems to us
that our major objective must clearly be the preservation and the wise
use of this most important asset.
—Deputy Governor to Secretary of State
for the Colonies, 19 March 1945
The armed rebellion of the Mau Mau was the culminating response to
oppressive colonial rule. Although there had been previous
instances of violent resistance to colonialism, the Mau Mau revolt was
the most prolonged and violent anti-colonial warfare in the British
Kenya colony. From the start, the land was the primary British
interest in Kenya, which had "some of the richest agricultural
soils in the world, mostly in districts where the elevation and
climate make it possible for Europeans to reside permanently."
Though declared a colony in 1920, the formal British colonial presence
Kenya began with a proclamation on 1 July 1895, in which
claimed as a British protectorate.
Even before 1895, however, Britain's presence in
Kenya was marked by
dispossession and violence. In 1894, British MP Sir Charles Dilke had
observed in the House of Commons, "The only person who has up to the
present time benefited from our enterprise in the heart of Africa has
been Mr. Hiram Maxim". During the period in which Kenya's interior
was being forcibly opened up for British settlement, there was plenty
of conflict and British troops carried out atrocities against the
Opposition to British imperialism existed from the start of British
occupation. The most notable include the
Nandi Resistance of
1895–1905; the Giriama Uprising of 1913–1914; the women's
revolt against forced labour in
Murang'a in 1947; and the Kolloa
Affray of 1950. None of the armed uprisings during the beginning
of British colonialism in
Kenya were successful. The nature of
Winston Churchill to express concern in 1908
about how it would look if word got out:
160 Gusii have now been killed outright without any further casualties
on our side. . . . It looks like a butchery. If the
H. of C. gets hold of it, all our plans in E.A.P. will be
under a cloud. Surely it cannot be necessary to go on killing these
defenceless people on such an enormous scale.
You may travel through the length and breadth of Kitui Reserve and you
will fail to find in it any enterprise, building, or structure of any
sort which Government has provided at the cost of more than a few
sovereigns for the direct benefit of the natives. The place was little
better than a wilderness when I first knew it 25 years ago, and it
remains a wilderness to-day as far as our efforts are concerned. If we
left that district to-morrow the only permanent evidence of our
occupation would be the buildings we have erected for the use of our
—Chief Native Commissioner of Kenya, 1925
A feature of all settler societies during the colonial period was the
ability to obtain a disproportionate share in land ownership.
Kenya was no exception, with the first settlers arriving in 1902 as
part of Governor Charles Eliot's plan to have a settler economy pay
for the Uganda Railway. The success of this settler economy
would depend heavily on the availability of land, labour and
capital, and so, over the next three decades, the colonial
government and settlers consolidated their control over Kenyan land,
and 'encouraged' native Kenyans to become wage labourers.
Until the mid-1930s, the two primary complaints were low native Kenyan
wages and the requirement to carry an identity document, the
kipande. From the early 1930s, however, two others began to come
to prominence: effective and elected African-political-representation,
and land. The British response to this clamour for agrarian reform
came in the early 1930s when they set up the Carter Land
The Commission reported in 1934, but its conclusions, recommendations
and concessions to Kenyans were so conservative that any chance of a
peaceful resolution to native Kenyan land-hunger was ended.
Through a series of expropriations, the government seized about
7,000,000 acres (28,000 km2; 11,000 sq mi) of land,
most of it in the fertile hilly regions of Central and Rift Valley
Provinces, later known as the
White Highlands due to the exclusively
European-owned farmland there. In Nyanza the Commission restricted
1,029,422 native Kenyans to 7,114 square miles (18,430 km2),
while granting 16,700 square miles (43,000 km2) to 17,000
Europeans. By the 1930s, and for the Kikuyu in particular, land
had become the number one grievance concerning colonial rule, the
situation so acute by 1948 that 1,250,000 Kikuyu had ownership of
2,000 square miles (5,200 km2), while 30,000 British settlers
owned 12,000 square miles (31,000 km2), abeit most of it not on
traditional Kikuku land. "In particular", the British government's
1925 East Africa Commission noted, "the treatment of the Giriama tribe
[from the coastal regions] was very bad. This tribe was moved
backwards and forwards so as to secure for the Crown areas which could
be granted to Europeans."
The Kikuyu, who lived in the Kiambu, Nyeri and
Murang'a areas of what
became Central Province, were one of the ethnic groups most affected
by the colonial government's land expropriation and European
settlement; by 1933, they had had over 109.5 square miles
(284 km2) of their potentially highly valuable land
alienated. The Kikuyu mounted a legal challenge against the
expropriation of their land, but a
Kenya High Court decision of 1921
reaffirmed its legality. In terms of lost acreage, the Masai and
Nandi people were the biggest losers of land.
The colonial government and white farmers also wanted cheap labour
which, for a period, the government acquired from native Kenyans
through force. Confiscating the land itself helped to create a
pool of wage labourers, but the colony introduced measures that forced
more native Kenyans to submit to wage labour: the introduction of the
Hut and Poll Taxes (1901 and 1910 respectively); the
establishment of reserves for each ethnic group, which isolated ethnic
groups and often exacerbated overcrowding; the discouragement of
native Kenyans' growing cash crops; the Masters and Servants
Ordinance (1906) and an identification pass known as the kipande
(1918) to control the movement of labour and to curb
desertion; and the exemption of wage labourers from forced
labour and other compulsory, detested tasks such as
Native labourer categories
Native Kenyan labourers were in one of three categories: squatter,
contract, or casual.[C] By the end of World War I, squatters had
become well established on European farms and plantations in Kenya,
with Kikuyu squatters comprising the majority of agricultural workers
on settler plantations. An unintended consequence of colonial
rule, the squatters were targeted from 1918 onwards by a series of
Resident Native Labourers Ordinances—criticised by at least some
MPs—which progressively curtailed squatter rights and
subordinated native Kenyan farming to that of the settlers. The
Ordinance of 1939 finally eliminated squatters' remaining tenancy
rights, and permitted settlers to demand 270 days' labour from any
squatters on their land. and, after World War II, the situation
for squatters deteriorated rapidly, a situation the squatters resisted
In the early 1920s, though, despite the presence of 100,000 squatters
and tens of thousands more wage labourers, there was still not
enough native Kenyan labour available to satisfy the settlers'
needs. The colonial government duly tightened the measures to
force more Kenyans to become low-paid wage-labourers on settler
The colonial government used the measures brought in as part of its
land expropriation and labour 'encouragement' efforts to craft the
third plank of its growth strategy for its settler economy:
subordinating African farming to that of the Europeans. Nairobi
also assisted the settlers with rail and road networks, subsidies on
freight charges, agricultural and veterinary services, and credit and
loan facilities. The near-total neglect of native farming during
the first two decades of European settlement was noted by the East
The resentment of colonial rule would not have been decreased by the
wanting provision of medical services for native Kenyans, nor by
the fact that in 1923, for example, "the maximum amount that could be
considered to have been spent on services provided exclusively for the
benefit of the native population was slightly over one-quarter of the
taxes paid by them". The tax burden on Europeans in the early
1920s, meanwhile, was very light. Interwar
infrastructure-development was also largely paid for by the indigenous
Kenyan employees were often poorly treated by their European
employers—sometimes even beaten to death by them—with some
settlers arguing that native Kenyans "were as children and should be
treated as such". Some settlers flogged their servants for petty
offences. To make matters even worse, native Kenyan workers were
poorly served by colonial labour-legislation and a prejudiced
legal-system. The vast majority of Kenyan employees' violations of
labour legislation were settled with "rough justice" meted out by
their employers. Most colonial magistrates appear to have been
unconcerned by the illegal practice of settler-administered flogging;
indeed, during the 1920s, flogging was the magisterial
punishment-of-choice for native Kenyan convicts. The principle of
punitive sanctions against workers was not removed from the Kenyan
labour statutes until the 1950s.
The greater part of the wealth of the country is at present in our
hands. . . . This land we have made is our land by right—by right of
—Speech by Deputy Colonial Governor
30 November 1946
As a result of the situation in the highlands and growing job
opportunities in the cities, thousands of Kikuyu migrated into cities
in search of work, contributing to the doubling of Nairobi's
population between 1938 and 1952. At the same time, there was a
small, but growing, class of Kikuyu landowners who consolidated Kikuyu
landholdings and forged ties with the colonial administration, leading
to an economic rift within the Kikuyu.
Mau Mau warfare
Mau Mau were the militant wing of a growing clamour for political
representation and freedom in Kenya. The first attempt to form a
countrywide political party begun on 1 October 1944. This
fledgling organisation was called the
Kenya African Study Union with
Harry Thuku as its inaugural chairman. He soon resigned his
chairmanship. There is dispute over Thuku's reason for leaving KASU:
Bethwell Ogot states that Thuku "found the responsibility too
heavy"; David Anderson states that "he walked out in disgust" as
the militant section of KASU took the initiative. KASU changed its
name to the
Kenya African Union (KAU) in 1946.
The failure of KAU to attain any significant reforms or redress of
grievances from the colonial authorities shifted the political
initiative to younger and more militant figures within the native
Kenyan trade union movement, among the squatters on the settler
estates in the Rift Valley and in KAU branches in
Nairobi and the
Kikuyu districts of central province. Around 1943, residents of
Olenguruone Settlement radicalised the traditional practice of
oathing, and extended oathing to women and children. By the
mid-1950s, 90% of Kikuyu, Embu and Meru were oathed. On
3 October 1952, Mau Mau claimed their first European victim when
they stabbed a woman to death near her home in Thika. Six days
later, on 9 October, Senior Chief Waruhiu was shot dead in broad
daylight in his car, which was an important blow against the
colonial government. Waruhiu had been one of the strongest
supporters of the British presence in Kenya. His assassination gave
Baring the final impetus to request permission from the Colonial
Office to declare a State of Emergency.
Contrary to British propaganda and western perceptions of the time,
the Mau Mau attacks were mostly well organised and planned.
...the insurgents' lack of heavy weaponry and the heavily entrenched
police and Home Guard positions meant that Mau Mau attacks were
restricted to nighttime and where loyalist positions were weak. When
attacks did commence they were fast and brutal, as insurgents were
easily able to identify loyalists because they were often local to
those communities themselves. The
Lari massacre was by comparison
rather outstanding and in contrast to regular Mau Mau strikes which
more often than not targeted only loyalists without such massive
civilian casualties. "Even the attack upon Lari, in the view of the
rebel commanders was strategic and specific."
The Mau Mau command, contrary to the Home Guard who were stigmatised
as "the running dogs of British Imperialism", were relatively well
educated. General Gatunga had previously been a respected and well
read Christian teacher in his local Kikuyu community. He was known to
meticulously record his attacks in a series of five notebooks, which
when executed were often swift and strategic, targeting loyalist
community leaders he had previously known as a teacher.[citation
The Mau Mau military strategy was mainly guerrilla attacks launched
under the cover of dark. They used stolen weapons such as guns, as
well as weapons such as machetes and bows and arrows in their attacks.
In a few limited cases, they also deployed biological weapons.
Women and the Rebellion
This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay
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Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style.
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See also: Campaign against female genital mutilation in colonial Kenya
Women formed a core part of the Mau Mau, especially in maintaining
supply lines. Initially able to avoid the suspicion, they moved
through colonial spaces and between Mau Mau hideouts and strongholds,
to deliver vital supplies and services to guerrilla fighters including
food, ammunition, medical care, and of course, information. An
unknown number also fought in the war, with the most high-ranking
being Field Marshal Muthoni.
The British and international view was that Mau Mau as a savage,
violent, and depraved tribal cult, an expression of unrestrained
emotion rather than reason. Mau Mau was "perverted tribalism" that
sought to take the
Kikuyu people back to "the bad old days" before
British rule. The official British explanation of the revolt
did not include the insights of agrarian and agricultural experts, of
economists and historians, or even of Europeans who had spent a long
period living amongst the Kikuyu such as Louis Leakey. Not for the
first time, the British instead relied on the purported insights
of the ethnopsychiatrist; with Mau Mau, it fell to Dr. John Colin
Carothers to perform the desired analysis. This ethnopsychiatric
analysis guided British psychological warfare, which painted Mau Mau
as "an irrational force of evil, dominated by bestial impulses and
influenced by world communism", and the later official study of the
uprising, the Corfield Report.
The psychological war became of critical importance to military and
civilian leaders, who waged it in the time-honoured colonial fashion
of divide and rule, always trying to "emphasise that there was in
effect a civil war, and that the struggle was not black versus white",
attempting to isolate Mau Mau from the Kikuyu, and the Kikuyu from the
rest of the colony's population and the world outside. In driving a
wedge between Mau Mau and the Kikuyu generally, these propaganda
efforts essentially played no role, though they could apparently claim
an important contribution to the isolation of Mau Mau from the
non-Kikuyu sections of the population.
By the mid-1960s, the view of Mau Mau as simply irrational activists
was being challenged by memoirs of former members and leaders that
portrayed Mau Mau as an essential, if radical, component of African
nationalism in Kenya, and by academic studies that analysed the
movement as a modern and nationalist response to the unfairness and
oppression of colonial domination (though such studies downplayed the
specifically Kikuyu nature of the movement).
There continues to be vigorous debate within Kenyan society and among
the academic community within and without
Kenya regarding the nature
of Mau Mau and its aims, as well as the response to and effects of the
uprising. Nevertheless, partly because as many Kikuyu fought
against Mau Mau on the side of the colonial government as joined them
in rebellion, the conflict is now often regarded in academic
circles as an intra-Kikuyu civil war, a characterisation that
remains extremely unpopular in Kenya.  Kenyatta described the
conflict in his memoirs as a civil war rather than a
rebellion. The reason that the revolt was majorly
limited to the
Kikuyu people was, in part, that they had suffered the
most as a result of the negative aspects of British
Wunyabari O. Maloba regards the rise of the Mau Mau movement as
"without doubt, one of the most important events in recent African
history." David Anderson, however, considers Maloba's and similar
work to be the product of "swallowing too readily the propaganda of
the Mau Mau war", noting the similarity between such analysis and
the "simplistic" earlier studies of Mau Mau. This earlier work
cast the Mau Mau war in strictly bipolar terms, "as conflicts between
anti-colonial nationalists and colonial collaborators". Caroline
Elkins' 2005 study, Imperial Reckoning, has met similar criticism, as
well as being criticised for sensationalism.
It is often assumed that in a conflict there are two sides in
opposition to one another, and that a person who is not actively
committed to one side must be supporting the other. During the course
of a conflict, leaders on both sides will use this argument to gain
active support from the "crowd". In reality, conflicts involving more
than two persons usually have more than two sides, and if a resistance
movement is to be successful, propaganda and politicization are
Broadly speaking, throughout Kikuyu history, there have been two
traditions: moderate-conservative and radical. Despite the
differences between them, there has been a continuous debate and
dialogue between these traditions, leading to a great political
awareness among the Kikuyu. By 1950, these differences, and
the impact of colonial rule, had given rise to three native Kenyan
political blocks: conservative, moderate nationalist and militant
nationalist. It has also been argued that Mau Mau was not
explicitly national, either intellectually or operationally.
Bruce Berman argues that, "While Mau Mau was clearly not a tribal
atavism seeking a return to the past, the answer to the question of
'was it nationalism?' must be yes and no." As the Mau Mau
rebellion wore on, the violence forced the spectrum of opinion within
the Kikuyu, Embu and Meru to polarise and harden into the two distinct
camps of loyalist and Mau Mau. This neat division between
loyalists and Mau Mau was a product of the conflict, rather than a
cause or catalyst of it, with the violence becoming less ambiguous
over time, in a similar manner to other situations.
British reaction to the uprising
Between 1952 and 1956, when the fighting was at its worst, the Kikuyu
Kenya became a police state in the very fullest sense of
Philip Mitchell retired as Kenya's governor in summer 1952, having
turned a blind eye to Mau Mau's increasing activity. Through the
summer of 1952, however, Colonial Secretary Oliver Lyttelton in London
received a steady flow of reports from Acting Governor Henry Potter
about the escalating seriousness of Mau Mau violence, but it was
not until the later part of 1953 that British politicians began to
accept that the rebellion was going to take some time to deal
with. At first, the British discounted the Mau Mau rebellion
because of their own technical and military superiority, which
encouraged hopes for a quick victory.
The British army accepted the gravity of the uprising months before
the politicians, but the army's appeals to London and Nairobi
initially fell on deaf ears. On 30 September 1952, Evelyn Baring
Kenya to permanently take over from Potter; Baring was
given no warning by Mitchell or the Colonial Office about the
gathering maelstrom into which he was stepping.
Aside from military operations against Mau Mau fighters in the
forests, the British attempt to defeat the movement broadly came in
two stages: the first, relatively limited in scope, came during the
period in which they had still failed to accept the seriousness of the
revolt; the second came afterwards. During the first stage, the
British tried to decapitate the movement by declaring a State of
Emergency before arresting 180 alleged Mau Mau leaders (see Operation
Jock Scott below) and subjecting six of them to a show trial (the
Kapenguria Six); the second stage began in earnest in 1954, when they
undertook a series of major economic, military and penal
The second stage had three main planks: a large military-sweep of
Nairobi leading to the internment of tens of thousands of the city's
suspected Mau Mau members and sympathisers (see Operation Anvil
below); the enacting of major agrarian reform (the Swynnerton Plan);
and the institution of a vast villagisation programme for more than a
million rural Kikuyu (see below). In 2012, the UK government accepted
that prisoners had suffered "torture and ill-treatment at the hands of
the colonial administration".
The harshness of the British response was inflated by two factors.
First, the settler government in
Kenya was, even before the
insurgency, probably the most openly racist one in the British empire,
with the settlers' violent prejudice attended by an uncompromising
determination to retain their grip on power and half-submerged
fears that, as a tiny minority, they could be overwhelmed by the
indigenous population. Some settlers felt that "[a] good sound
system of compulsory labour would do more to raise the nigger in five
years than all the millions that have been sunk in missionary efforts
for the last fifty", and its representatives were so keen on
aggressive action that
George Erskine referred to them as "the White
Mau Mau". Second, the brutality of Mau Mau attacks on civilians
made it easy for the movement's opponents—including native Kenyan
and loyalist security forces—to adopt a totally dehumanised view of
Mau Mau adherents.
A variety of persuasive techniques were initiated by the colonial
authorities to punish and break Mau Mau's support: Baring ordered
punitive communal-labour, collective fines and other collective
punishments, and further confiscation of land and property. By early
1954, tens of thousands of head of livestock had been taken, and were
allegedly never returned. Detailed accounts of the policy of
seizing livestock from Kenyans suspected of supporting Mau Mau rebels
were finally released in April 2012.
State of Emergency declared (October 1952)
On 20 October 1952, Governor Baring signed an order declaring a State
of Emergency. Early the next morning,
Operation Jock Scott was
launched: the British carried out a mass-arrest of
Jomo Kenyatta and
180 other alleged Mau Mau leaders within Nairobi. Jock Scott
did not decapitate the movement's leadership as hoped, since news of
the impending operation was leaked. Thus, while the moderates on the
wanted list awaited capture, the real militants, such as Dedan Kimathi
Stanley Mathenge (both later principal leaders of Mau Mau's forest
armies), fled to the forests.
The day after the round up, another prominent loyalist chief, Nderi,
was hacked to pieces, and a series of gruesome murders against
settlers were committed throughout the months that followed. The
violent and random nature of British tactics during the months after
Jock Scott served merely to alienate ordinary Kikuyu and drive many of
the wavering majority into Mau Mau's arms. Three battalions of
King's African Rifles
King's African Rifles were recalled from Uganda, Tanganyika and
Mauritius, giving the regiment five battalions in all in Kenya, a
total of 3,000 native Kenyan troops. To placate settler opinion,
one battalion of British troops, from the Lancashire Fusiliers, was
also flown in from
Nairobi on the first day of Operation Jock
Scott. In November 1952, Baring requested assistance from the
Security Service. For the next year, the Service's A.M. MacDonald
would reorganise the
Special Branch of the
Kenya Police, promote
Special Branches in adjacent territories, and
oversee coordination of all intelligence activity "to secure the
intelligence Government requires".
Our sources have produced nothing to indicate that Kenyatta, or his
associates in the UK, are directly involved in Mau Mau activities, or
that Kenyatta is essential to Mau Mau as a leader, or that he is in a
position to direct its activities.
—Percy Sillitoe, Director General of MI5
Letter to Evelyn Baring, 9 January 1953
In January 1953, six of the most prominent detainees from Jock Scott,
including Kenyatta, were put on trial, primarily to justify the
declaration of the Emergency to critics in London. The trial
itself was claimed to have featured a suborned lead defence-witness, a
bribed judge, and other serious violations of the right to a fair
Native Kenyan political activity was permitted to resume at the end of
the military phase of the Emergency.
Lieutenant General Sir George Erskine, Commander-in-Chief, British
East Africa (centre), observing operations against the Mau Mau
The onset of the Emergency led hundreds, and eventually thousands, of
Mau Mau adherents to flee to the forests, where a decentralised
leadership had already begun setting up platoons. The primary
zones of Mau Mau military strength were the Aberdares and the forests
around Mount Kenya, whilst a passive support-wing was fostered outside
these areas. Militarily, the British defeated Mau Mau in four
years (1952–56) using a more expansive version of "coercion
through exemplary force". In May 1953, the decision was made to
George Erskine to oversee the restoration of order in the
By September 1953, the British knew the leading personalities in Mau
Mau, the capture and 68 hour interrogation of
General China on 15
January the following year provided a massive intelligence boost on
the forest fighters. Erskine's arrival did
not immediately herald a fundamental change in strategy, thus the
continual pressure on the gangs remained, but he created more mobile
formations that delivered what he termed "special treatment" to an
area. Once gangs had been driven out and eliminated, loyalist forces
and police were then to take over the area, with military support
brought in thereafter only to conduct any required pacification
operations. After their successful dispersion and containment, Erskine
went after the forest fighters' source of supplies, money and
recruits, i.e. the native Kenyan population of Nairobi. This took the
form of Operation Anvil, which commenced on 24 April 1954.
Nairobi was regarded as the nerve centre of Mau Mau
operations. Anvil was the ambitious attempt to eliminate Mau
Mau's presence within
Nairobi in one fell swoop. 25,000 members of
British security forces under the control of General George Erskine
were deployed as
Nairobi was sealed off and underwent a
sector-by-sector purge. All native Kenyans were taken to temporary
barbed-wire enclosures, whereafter those who were not Kikuyu, Embu or
Meru were released; those who were remained in detention for
British Army patrol crossing a stream carrying L1A1 rifle (1st and 2nd
soldiers from right);
Sten Mk5 (3rd soldier); and the Lee–Enfield
No. 5 (4th and 5th soldiers)
Whilst the operation itself was conducted by Europeans, most suspected
members of Mau Mau were picked out of groups of the Kikuyu-Embu-Meru
detainees by a native Kenyan informer. Male suspects were then taken
off for further screening, primarily at Langata Screening Camp, whilst
women and children were readied for 'repatriation' to the reserves
(many of those slated for deportation had never set foot in the
reserves before). Anvil lasted for two weeks, after which the capital
had been cleared of all but certifiably loyal Kikuyu; 20,000 Mau Mau
suspects had been taken to Langata, and 30,000 more had been deported
to the reserves.
For an extended period of time, the chief British weapon against the
forest fighters was air power. Between June 1953 and October 1955, the
RAF provided a significant contribution to the conflict—and, indeed,
had to, for the army was preoccupied with providing security in the
reserves until January 1955, and it was the only service capable of
both psychologically influencing and inflicting considerable
casualties on the Mau Mau fighters operating in the dense forests.
Lack of timely and accurate intelligence meant bombing was rather
haphazard, but almost 900 insurgents had been killed or wounded by air
attacks by June 1954, and it did cause forest gangs to disband, lower
their morale, and induce their pronounced relocation from the forests
to the reserves.
Contrary to that which is sometimes claimed, Lancaster bombers were
not used during the Emergency, though Lincolns were. The latter flew
their first mission on the 18th November 1953 and remained in Kenya
until 28 July 1955, dropping nearly 6 million bombs.
They and other aircraft, such as blimps, were also deployed for
reconnaissance, as well as in the propaganda war, conducting
After the Lari massacre, for example, British planes dropped leaflets
showing graphic pictures of the Kikuyu women and children who had been
hacked to death. Unlike the rather indiscriminate activities of
British ground forces, the use of air power was more restrained
(though there is disagreement on this point), and air attacks
were initially permitted only in the forests. Operation Mushroom
extended bombing beyond the forest limits in May 1954, and Churchill
consented to its continuation in January 1955.
Main article: Swynnerton Plan
Baring knew the massive deportations to the already-overcrowded
reserves could only make things worse. Refusing to give more land to
the Kikuyu in the reserves, which could have been seen as a concession
to Mau Mau, Baring turned instead in 1953 to Roger Swynnerton, Kenya's
assistant director of agriculture. The primary goal of the
Swynnerton Plan was the creation of family holdings large enough to
keep families self-sufficient in food and to enable them to practise
alternate husbandry, which would generate a cash income.
The projected costs of the
Swynnerton Plan were too high for the
cash-strapped colonial government, so Baring tweaked repatriation and
Swynnerton Plan with plans for a massive expansion of
the Pipeline coupled with a system of work camps to make use of
detainee labour. All Kikuyu employed for public works projects would
now be employed on Swynnerton's poor-relief programmes, as would many
detainees in the work camps.
Further information: List of British Detention Camps during the Mau
It would be difficult to argue that the colonial government envisioned
its own version of a gulag when the Emergency first started. Colonial
Kenya and Britain all believed that Mau Mau would be over
in less than three months.
When the mass deportations of Kikuyu to the reserves began in 1953,
Baring and Erskine ordered all Mau Mau suspects to be screened. Of the
scores of screening camps which sprang up, only fifteen were
officially sanctioned by the colonial government. Larger detention
camps were divided into compounds. The screening centres were staffed
by settlers who had been appointed temporary district-officers by
Thomas Askwith, the official tasked with designing the British
'detention and rehabilitation' programme during the summer and autumn
of 1953, termed his system the Pipeline. The British did not
initially conceive of rehabilitating Mau Mau suspects through brute
force and other ill-treatment—Askwith's final plan, submitted to
Baring in October 1953, was intended as "a complete blueprint for
winning the war against Mau Mau using socioeconomic and civic
reform." What developed, however, has been described as a British
The Pipeline operated a white-grey-black classification system:
'whites' were cooperative detainees, and were repatriated back to the
reserves; 'greys' had been oathed but were reasonably compliant, and
were moved down the Pipeline to works camps in their local districts
before release; and 'blacks' were the so-called 'hard core' of Mau
Mau. These were moved up the Pipeline to special detention camps. Thus
a detainee's position in Pipeline was a straightforward reflection of
how cooperative the Pipeline personnel deemed her or him to be.
Cooperation was itself defined in terms of a detainee's readiness to
confess their Mau Mau oath. Detainees were screened and re-screened
for confessions and intelligence, then re-classified accordingly.
[T]here is something peculiarly chilling about the way colonial
officials behaved, most notoriously but not only in Kenya, within a
decade of the liberation of the [Nazi] concentration camps and the
return of thousands of emaciated British prisoners of war from the
Pacific. One courageous judge in
Nairobi explicitly drew the parallel:
Kenya's Belsen, he called one camp. 
—Guardian Editorial, 11 April 2011
A detainee's journey between two locations along the Pipeline could
sometimes last days. During transit, there was frequently little or no
food and water provided, and seldom any sanitation. Once in camp,
talking was forbidden outside the detainees' accommodation huts,
though improvised communication was rife. Such communication included
propaganda and disinformation, which went by such names as the Kinongo
Times, designed to encourage fellow detainees not to give up hope and
so to minimise the number of those who confessed their oath and
cooperated with camp authorities.
Forced labour was performed by
detainees on projects like the thirty-seven-mile-long South Yatta
irrigation furrow. Family outside and other considerations led
many detainees to confess.
During the first year after Operation Anvil, colonial authorities had
little success in forcing detainees to cooperate. Camps and compounds
were overcrowded, forced-labour systems were not yet perfected,
screening teams were not fully coordinated, and the use of torture was
not yet systematised. This failure was partly due to the lack of
manpower and resources, as well as the vast numbers of detainees.
Officials could scarcely process them all, let alone get them to
confess their oaths. Assessing the situation in the summer of 1955,
Alan Lennox-Boyd wrote of his "fear that the net figure of detainees
may still be rising. If so the outlook is grim." Black markets
flourished during this period, with the native Kenyan guards helping
to facilitate trading. It was possible for detainees to bribe guards
in order to obtain items or stay punishment.
[T]he horror of some of the so-called Screening Camps now present a
state of affairs so deplorable that they should be investigated
without delay, so that the ever increasing allegations of inhumanity
and disregard of the rights of the African citizen are dealt with and
so that the Government will have no reason to be ashamed of the acts
which are done in its own name by its own servants.
—Letter from Police Commissioner Arthur Young to
Governor Evelyn Baring, 22 November 1954
Interrogations and confessions
By late 1955, however, the Pipeline had become a fully operational,
well-organised system. Guards were regularly shifted around the
Pipeline too in order to prevent relationships developing with
detainees and so undercut the black markets, and inducements and
punishments became better at discouraging fraternising with the
enemy. The grinding nature of the improved detention and
interrogation regimen began to produce results. Most detainees
confessed, and the system produced ever greater numbers of spies and
informers within the camps, while others switched sides in a more
open, official fashion, leaving detention behind to take an active
role in interrogations, even sometimes administering beatings.
The most famous example of side-switching was Peter Muigai
Kenyatta—Jomo Kenyatta's son—who, after confessing, joined
screeners at Athi River Camp, later travelling throughout the Pipeline
to assist in interrogations. Suspected informers and spies within
a camp were treated in the time-honoured Mau Mau fashion: the
preferred method of execution was strangulation then mutilation: "It
was just like in the days before our detention", explained one Mau Mau
member later. "We did not have our own jails to hold an informant in,
so we would strangle him and then cut his tongue out." The end of 1955
also saw screeners being given a freer hand in interrogation, and
harsher conditions than straightforward confession were imposed on
detainees before they were deemed 'cooperative' and eligible for final
In a half-circle against the reed walls of the enclosure stand eight
young, African women. There's neither hate nor apprehension in their
gaze. It's like a talk in the headmistress's study; a headmistress who
is firm but kindly.
—A contemporary BBC-description of screening
While oathing, for practical reasons, within the Pipeline was reduced
to an absolute minimum, as many new initiates as possible were oathed.
A newcomer who refused to take the oath often faced the same fate as a
recalcitrant outside the camps: they were murdered. "The detainees
would strangle them with their blankets or, using blades fashioned
from the corrugated-iron roofs of some of the barracks, would slit
their throats", writes Elkins. The camp authorities' preferred
method of capital punishment was public hanging. Commandants were told
to clamp down hard on intra-camp oathing, with several commandants
hanging anyone suspected of administering oaths.
Even as the Pipeline became more sophisticated, detainees still
organised themselves within it, setting up committees and selecting
leaders for their camps, as well as deciding on their own "rules to
live by". Perhaps the most famous compound leader was Josiah Mwangi
Kariuki. Punishments for violating the "rules to live by" could be
European missionaries and native Kenyan Christians played their part
by visiting camps to evangelise and encourage compliance with the
colonial authorities, providing intelligence, and sometimes even
assisting in interrogation. Detainees regarded such preachers with
nothing but contempt.
The number of cases of pulmonary tuberculosis which is being disclosed
in Prison and Detention Camps is causing some embarrassment.
—Memorandum to Commissioner of Prisons John 'Taxi' Lewis
from Kenya's Director of Medical Services, 18 May 1954
The lack of decent sanitation in the camps meant that epidemics of
diseases such as typhoid swept through them. Official medical reports
detailing the shortcomings of the camps and their recommendations were
ignored, and the conditions being endured by detainees were lied about
and denied. A British rehabilitation officer found in
1954 that detainees from Manyani were in "shocking health", many of
them suffering from malnutrition, while Langata and GilGil were
eventually closed in April 1955 because, as the colonial
government put it, "they were unfit to hold Kikuyu . . . for medical
While the Pipeline was primarily designed for adult males, a few
thousand women and young girls were detained at an all-women camp at
Kamiti, as well as a number of unaccompanied young children. Dozens of
babies were born to women in captivity: "We really do need these
cloths for the children as it is impossible to keep them clean and
tidy while dressed on dirty pieces of sacking and blanket", wrote one
colonial officer. Wamumu Camp was set up solely for all the
unaccompanied boys in the Pipeline, though hundreds, maybe thousands,
of boys moved around the adult parts of the Pipeline.
Short rations, overwork, brutality, humiliating and disgusting
treatment and flogging—all in violation of the United Nations
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
—One colonial officer's description of British works camps
There were originally two types of works camps envisioned by Baring:
the first type were based in Kikuyu districts with the stated purpose
of achieving the Swynnerton Plan; the second were punitive camps,
designed for the 30,000 Mau Mau suspects who were deemed unfit to
return to the reserves. These forced-labour camps provided a much
needed source of labour to continue the colony's infrastructure
Colonial officers also saw the second sort of works camps as a way of
ensuring that any confession was legitimate and as a final opportunity
to extract intelligence. Probably the worst works camp to have been
sent to was the one run out of Embakasi Prison, for Embakasi was
responsible for the Embakasi Airport, the construction of which was
demanded to be finished before the Emergency came to an end. The
airport was a massive project with an unquenchable thirst for labour,
and the time pressures ensured the detainees' forced labour was
At the end of 1953, the Administration were faced with the serious
problem of the concealment of terrorists and supply of food to them.
This was widespread and, owing to the scattered nature of the
homesteads, fear of detection was negligible; so, in the first
instance, the inhabitants of those areas were made to build and live
in concentrated villages. This first step had to be taken speedily,
somewhat to the detriment of usual health measures and was definitely
a punitive short-term measure.
—District Commissioner of Nyeri
If military operations in the forests and Operation Anvil were the
first two phases of Mau Mau's defeat, Erskine expressed the need and
his desire for a third and final phase: cut off all the militants'
support in the reserves. The means to this terminal end was
originally suggested by the man brought in by the colonial government
to an ethnopsychiatric 'diagnosis' of the uprising, JC Carothers: he
advocated a Kenyan version of the villagisation programmes that the
British were already using in places like Malaya.
So it was that in June 1954, the War Council took the decision to
undertake a full-scale forced-resettlement programme of Kiambu, Nyeri,
Murang'a and Embu Districts to cut off Mau Mau's supply lines.
Within eighteen months, 1,050,899 Kikuyu in the reserves were inside
804 villages consisting of some 230,000 huts. The government
termed them "protected villages", purportedly to be built along "the
same lines as the villages in the North of England", though the
term was actually a "euphemism for the fact that hundreds of
thousands of civilians were corralled, often against their will, into
settlements behind barbed-wire fences and watch towers."
While some of these villages were to protect loyalist Kikuyu, "most
were little more than concentration camps to punish Mau Mau
sympathizers." The villagisation programme was the coup de grâce
for Mau Mau. By the end of the following summer, Lieutenant
General Lathbury no longer needed Lincoln bombers for raids because of
a lack of targets, and, by late 1955, Lathbury felt so sure of
final victory that he reduced army forces to almost pre-Mau Mau
He noted, however, that the British should have "no illusions about
the future. Mau Mau has not been cured: it has been suppressed. The
thousands who have spent a long time in detention must have been
embittered by it. Nationalism is still a very potent force and the
African will pursue his aim by other means.
Kenya is in for a very
tricky political future."
Whilst they [the Kikuyu] could not be expected to take kindly at first
to a departure from their traditional way of life, such as living in
villages, they need and desire to be told just what to do.
—Council of Kenya-Colony's Ministers, July 1954
The government's public relations officer, Granville Roberts,
presented villagisation as a good opportunity for rehabilitation,
particularly of women and children, but it was, in fact, first and
foremost designed to break Mau Mau and protect loyalist Kikuyu, a fact
reflected in the extremely limited resources made available to the
Rehabilitation and Community Development Department. Refusal to
move could be punished with the destruction of property and livestock,
and the roofs were usually ripped off of homes whose occupants
Villagisation also solved the practical
and financial problems associated with a further, massive expansion of
the Pipeline programme, and the removal of people from their land
hugely assisted the enaction of Swynnerton Plan.
The villages were surrounded by deep, spike-bottomed trenches and
barbed wire, and the villagers themselves were watched over by members
of the Home Guard, often neighbours and relatives. In short, rewards
or collective punishments such as curfews could be served much more
readily after villagisation, and this quickly broke Mau Mau's passive
wing. Though there were degrees of difference between the
villages, the overall conditions engendered by villagisation
meant that, by early 1955, districts began reporting starvation and
malnutrition. One provincial commissioner blamed child hunger on
parents deliberately withholding food, saying the latter were aware of
the "propaganda value of apparent malnutrition".
From the health point of view, I regard villagisation as being
exceedingly dangerous and we are already starting to reap the
—Meru's Dictrict Commissioner, 6 November 1954,
four months after the institution of villagisation
The Red Cross helped mitigate the food shortages, but even they were
told to prioritise loyalist areas. The Baring government's
medical department issued reports about "the alarming number of deaths
occurring amongst children in the 'punitive' villages", and the
"political" prioritisation of Red Cross relief.
One of the colony's ministers blamed the "bad spots" in Central
Province on the mothers of the children for "not realis[ing] the great
importance of proteins", and one former missionary reported that it
"was terribly pitiful how many of the children and the older Kikuyu
were dying. They were so emaciated and so very susceptible to any kind
of disease that came along". Of the 50,000 deaths which John
Blacker attributed to the Emergency, half were children under the age
The lack of food did not just affect the children, of course. The
Overseas Branch of the British Red Cross commented on the "women who,
from progressive undernourishment, had been unable to carry on with
Disease prevention was not helped by the colony's policy of returning
sick detainees to receive treatment in the reserves, though the
reserves' medical services were virtually non-existent, as Baring
himself noted after a tour of some villages in June 1956.
Political and social concessions by the British
Kenyans were granted nearly all of the demands made
by the KAU in 1951.
On 18 January 1955, the Governor-General of Kenya, Evelyn Baring,
offered an amnesty to Mau Mau activists. The offer was that they would
not face prosecution for previous offences, but may still be detained.
European settlers were appalled at the leniency of the offer. On 10
June 1955 with no response forthcoming, the offer of amnesty to the
Mau Mau was revoked.
In June 1956, a programme of land reform increased the land holdings
of the Kikuyu.. This was coupled with a
relaxation of the ban on native Kenyans growing coffee, a primary cash
In the cities the colonial authorities decided to dispel tensions by
raising urban wages, thereby strengthening the hand of moderate union
organisations like the KFRTU. By 1956, the British had granted direct
election of native Kenyan members of the Legislative Assembly,
followed shortly thereafter by an increase in the number of local
seats to fourteen. A Parliamentary conference in January 1960
indicated that the British would accept "one person—one vote"
The uprising was, in David Anderson's words, "a story of atrocity and
excess on both sides, a dirty war from which no one emerged with much
pride, and certainly no glory." Historian Daniel Goldhagen
describes the campaign against the Mau Mau as an example of
eliminationism, though this verdict has been fiercely criticised.
The total number of deaths attributable to the Emergency has been a
source of dispute:
Caroline Elkins claims it is "tens of thousands,
perhaps hundreds of thousands". Elkins numbers have been
challenged by the British demographer John Blacker, who demonstrated
in detail that her numbers were overestimated, explaining that Elkins'
figure of 300,000 deaths "implies that perhaps half of the adult male
population would have been wiped out—yet the censuses of 1962 and
1969 show no evidence of this—the age-sex pyramids for the Kikuyu
districts do not even show indentations."
His study dealt directly with Elkins' claim that "somewhere between
130,000 and 300,000 Kikuyu are unaccounted for" at the 1962
census, and was read by both David Anderson and John Lonsdale
prior to publication. Half of Blacker's own estimate of 50,000
comprises children under the age of ten.
David Elstein has noted that
leading authorities on Africa have taken issue with parts of Elkins'
study, in particular her mortality figures: "The senior British
historian of Kenya, John Lonsdale, whom Elkins thanks profusely in her
book as 'the most gifted scholar I know', warned her to place no
reliance on anecdotal sources, and regards her statistical
analysis—for which she cites him as one of three advisors—as
The British possibly killed in excess of 20,000 Mau Mau militants,
but in some ways more notable is the smaller number of Mau Mau
suspects dealt with by capital punishment: by the end of the
Emergency, the total was 1,090. At no other time or place in the
British empire was capital punishment dispensed so liberally—the
total is more than double the number executed by the French in
Main article: List of war crimes § Mau Mau uprising
Mau Mau fighters, . . . contrary to African customs and values,
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 practicing it on themselves. There was no reason and no
restraint on both sides.
War crimes have been broadly defined by the
Nuremberg principles as
"violations of the laws or customs of war", which includes massacres,
bombings of civilian targets, terrorism, mutilation, torture, and
murder of detainees and prisoners of war. Additional common crimes
include theft, arson, and the destruction of property not warranted by
British war crimes
See also: British war crimes
In order to fight the Mau Mau insurgency during the conflict, British
troops suspended civil liberties in Kenya. In response to the
rebellion, many Kikuyu were relocated. Between 320,000-450,000 of them
were moved into concentration camps. Most of the remainder – more
than a million – were held in "enclosed villages". Although some
were Mau Mau guerrillas, many were victims of collective punishment
that colonial authorities imposed on large areas of the country.
Thousands suffered beatings and sexual assaults during "screenings"
intended to extract information about the Mau Mau threat. Later,
prisoners suffered even worse mistreatment in an attempt to force them
to renounce their allegiance to the insurgency and to obey commands.
Significant numbers were murdered. Prisoners were questioned with
the help of "slicing off ears, boring holes in eardrums, flogging
until death, pouring paraffin over suspects who were then set alight,
and burning eardrums with lit cigarettes". Castration by British
troops and denying access to medical aid to the detainees were also
widespread and common. Among the detainees who suffered
severe mistreatment was Hussein Onyango Obama, the grandfather of
Barack Obama, the former President of the United States. According to
his widow, British soldiers forced pins into his fingernails and
buttocks and squeezed his testicles between metal rods and two others
We knew the slow method of torture [at the Mau Mau Investigation
Center] was worse than anything we could do.
Special Branch there had
a way of slowly electrocuting a Kuke—they'd rough up one for days.
Once I went personally to drop off one gang member who needed special
treatment. I stayed for a few hours to help the boys out, softening
him up. Things got a little out of hand. 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
One settler's description of British interrogation
In June 1957, Eric Griffith-Jones, the attorney general of the British
administration in Kenya, wrote to the governor, Evelyn Baring, 1st
Baron Howick of Glendale, detailing the way the regime of abuse at the
colony's detention camps was being subtly altered. He said that the
mistreatment of the detainees is "distressingly reminiscent of
Nazi Germany or Communist Russia". Despite this, he said
that in order for abuse to remain legal, Mau Mau suspects must be
beaten mainly on their upper body, "vulnerable parts of the body
should not be struck, particularly the spleen, liver or kidneys", and
it was important that "those who administer violence ... should remain
collected, balanced and dispassionate". He also reminded the governor
that "If we are going to sin", he wrote, "we must sin
The Chuka Massacre, which happened in Chuka, Kenya, was perpetrated by
members of the
King's African Rifles
King's African Rifles B Company in June 1953 with 20
unarmed people killed during the Mau Mau uprising. Members of the 5th
KAR B Company entered the Chuka area on 13 June 1953, to flush out
rebels suspected of hiding in the nearby forests. Over the next few
days, the regiment had captured and executed 20 people suspected of
being Mau Mau fighters for unknown reasons. The people executed
belonged to the
Kikuyu Home Guard — a loyalist militia recruited by
the British to fight the guerrillas. Nobody ever stood trial for the
Hola massacre was an incident during the conflict in
British colonial rule at a colonial detention camp in Hola, Kenya. By
January 1959, the camp had a population of 506 detainees, of whom 127
were held in a secluded "closed camp". This more remote camp near
Garissa, eastern Kenya, was reserved for the most uncooperative of the
detainees. They often refused, even when threats of force were made,
to join in the colonial "rehabilitation process" or perform manual
labour or obey colonial orders. The camp commandant outlined a plan
that would force 88 of the detainees to bend to work. On 3 March 1959,
the camp commandant put this plan into action – as a result, 11
detainees were clubbed to death by guards. 77 surviving detainees
sustained serious permanent injuries. The British government
accepts that the colonial administration tortured detainees, but
Mau Mau war crimes
Main article: Lari massacre
Mau Mau militants were guilty of numerous war crimes. The most
notorious was their attack on the settlement of Lari, on the night of
25–26 March 1953, in which they herded men, women and children into
huts and set fire to them, hacking down with machetes anyone who
attempted escape, before throwing them back into the burning
huts. The attack at Lari was so extreme that "African policemen
who saw the bodies of the victims . . . were physically sick and said
'These people are animals. If I see one now I shall shoot with the
greatest eagerness'", and it "even shocked many Mau Mau
supporters, some of whom would subsequently try to excuse the attack
as 'a mistake'".
A retaliatory massacre was immediately perpetrated by Kenyan security
forces who were partially overseen by British commanders. Official
estimates place the death toll from the first
Lari massacre at 74, and
the second at 150, though neither of these figures account for those
who 'disappeared'. Whatever the actual number of victims, "[t]he grim
truth was that, for every person who died in Lari's first massacre, at
least two more were killed in retaliation in the second."
Aside from the Lari massacres, Kikuyu were also tortured, mutilated
and murdered by Mau Mau on many other occasions. Mau Mau racked up
1,819 murders of their fellow native Kenyans, though again this number
excludes the many additional hundreds who 'disappeared', whose bodies
were never found. Thirty-two European and twenty-six Asian
civilians were also murdered by Mau Mau militants, with similar
numbers wounded. The best known European victim was Michael Ruck, aged
six, who was hacked to death with pangas along with his parents, Roger
and Esme, and one of the Rucks' farm workers, Muthura Nagahu, who had
tried to help the family. 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.
[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
In 1952, the poisonous latex of the African milk bush was used by
members of Mau Mau to kill cattle in an incident of biological
Although Mau Mau was effectively crushed by the end of 1956, it was
not until the First Lancaster House Conference, in January 1960, that
native Kenyan majority rule was established and the period of colonial
transition to independence initiated. Before the conference, it
was anticipated by both native Kenyan and European leaders that Kenya
was set for a European-dominated multi-racial government.
There is continuing debate about Mau Mau's and the rebellion's effects
on decolonisation and on
Kenya after independence. Regarding
decolonisation, the most common view is that Kenya's independence came
about as a result of the British government's deciding that a
continuance of colonial rule would entail a greater use of force than
that which the British public would tolerate. Nissimi argues,
though, that such a view fails to "acknowledge the time that elapsed
until the rebellion's influence actually took effect [and does not]
explain why the same liberal tendencies failed to stop the dirty war
the British conducted against the Mau Mau in
Kenya while it was raging
on." Others contend that, as the 1950s progressed, nationalist
intransigence increasingly rendered official plans for political
development irrelevant, meaning that after the mid-1950s British
policy increasingly accepted Kenyan nationalism and moved to co-opt
its leaders and organisations into collaboration.
It has been argued that the conflict helped set the stage for Kenyan
independence in December 1963, or at least secured the prospect
of Black-majority rule once the British left. However, this is
disputed and other sources downplay the contribution of Mau Mau to
On 12 September 2015, the British government unveiled a Mau Mau
memorial statue in Nairobi's Uhuru Park that it had funded "as a
symbol of reconciliation between the British government, the Mau Mau,
and all those who suffered". This followed a June 2013 decision by
Britain to compensate more than 5,000 Kenyans it tortured and abused
during the Mau Mau insurgency.
In 1999, a collection of former fighters calling themselves the Mau
Mau Original Group announced they would attempt a £5 billion
claim against the UK on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Kenyans for
ill-treatment they said they suffered during the rebellion, though
nothing came of it. In November 2002, the Mau Mau Trust—a
welfare group for former members of the movement—announced it would
attempt to sue the British government for widespread human rights
violations it said were committed against its members. Until
September 2003, the Mau Mau movement was banned.
Once the ban was removed, former Mau Mau members who had been
castrated or otherwise tortured were supported by the
Rights Commission, in particular by the Commission's George Morara, in
their attempt to take on the British government; their
lawyers had amassed 6,000 depositions regarding human rights abuses by
late 2002. 42 potential claimants were interviewed from whom five
were chosen to prosecute a test case; one of the five, Susan
Ciong'ombe Ngondi, has since died. The remaining four test
claimants are: Ndiku Mutua, who was castrated; Paulo Muoka Nzili, who
was castrated; Jane Muthoni Mara, who was subjected to sexual assault
that included having bottles filled with boiling water pushed up her
vagina; and Wambugu Wa Nyingi, who survived the Hola
Ben Macintyre of
The Times said of the legal case: "Opponents of these
proceedings have pointed out, rightly, that the Mau Mau was a brutal
terrorist force, guilty of the most dreadful atrocities. Yet only one
of the claimants is of that stamp—Mr Nzili. He has admitted taking
the Mau Mau oath and said that all he did was to ferry food to the
fighters in the forest. None has been accused, let alone convicted, of
Upon publication of Caroline Elkins'
Imperial Reckoning in 2005, Kenya
called for an apology from the UK for atrocities committed during the
1950s. The British government claimed the issue was the
responsibility of the Kenyan government on the grounds of "state
succession" for former colonies, relying on an obscure legal precedent
relating to Patagonian toothfish and the declaration of martial
law in Jamaica in 1860.
In July 2011, "George Morara strode down the corridor and into a
crowded little room [in Nairobi] where 30 elderly Kenyans sat hunched
together around a table clutching cups of hot tea and sharing plates
of biscuits. 'I have good news from London,' he announced. 'We have
won the first part of the battle!' At once the room erupted in
cheers." The good news was that a British judge had ruled that
the Kenyans could sue the British government for their torture.
Morara said that, if the first test cases succeeded, perhaps 30,000
others would file similar complaints of torture. Explaining his
decision, Mr Justice McCombe said the claimants had an "arguable
case", and added:
It may well be thought strange, or perhaps even dishonourable, that a
legal system which will not in any circumstances admit into its
proceedings evidence obtained by torture should yet refuse to
entertain a claim against the Government in its own jurisdiction for
that Government's allegedly negligent failure to prevent torture which
it had the means to prevent. Furthermore, resort to technicality . . .
to rule such a claim out of court appears particularly misplaced.
A Times editorial noted with satisfaction that "Mr Justice McCombe
told the FCO, in effect, to get lost. . . . Though the arguments
against reopening very old wounds are seductive, they fail morally.
There are living claimants and it most certainly was not their fault
that the documentary evidence that seems to support their claims was
for so long 'lost' in the governmental filing system."
If we are going to sin, we must sin quietly.
—Kenyan Attorney-General Eric Griffith-Jones
Main article: Foreign and Commonwealth Office migrated archives
During the course of the Mau Mau legal battle in London, a large
amount of what was stated to be formerly lost Foreign Office archival
material was finally brought to light, while yet more was discovered
to be missing. The files, known as migrated archives, provided
details of British human rights abuses (torture, rape, execution)
in its former colonies during the final stages of empire, including
during Mau Mau, and even after decolonisation.
Regarding the Mau Mau Uprising, the records included confirmation of
"the extent of the violence inflicted on suspected Mau Mau
rebels" in British detention camps documented in Caroline Elkins'
study. Numerous allegations of murder and rape by British
military personnel are recorded in the files, including an incident
where a native Kenyan baby was "burnt to death", the "defilement of a
young girl", and a soldier in Royal Irish Fusiliers who killed "in
cold blood two people who had been his captives for over 12
hours". Baring himself was aware of the "extreme brutality" of
the sometimes-lethal torture meted out—which included "most drastic"
beatings, solitary confinement, starvation, castration, whipping,
burning, rape, sodomy, and forceful insertion of objects into
orifices—but took no action.   Baring's inaction was
despite the urging of people like Arthur Young, Commissioner of Police
Kenya for less than eight months of 1954 before he resigned in
protest, that "the horror of some of the [camps] should be
investigated without delay". In February 1956, a provincial
commissioner in Kenya, "Monkey" Johnson, wrote to Attorney General
Reginald Manningham-Buller urging him to block any enquiry into the
methods used against Mau Mau: "It would now appear that each and every
one of us, from the Governor downwards, may be in danger of removal
from public service by a commission of enquiry as a result of
enquiries made by the CID." The April 2012 release also included
detailed accounts of the policy of seizing livestock from Kenyans
suspected of supporting Mau Mau rebels.
Main criticism we shall have to meet is that 'Cowan plan' which
was approved by Government contained instructions which in effect
authorised unlawful use of violence against detainees.
—Colonial Secretary Alan Lennox-Boyd
Commenting on the papers, David Anderson stated that the "documents
were hidden away to protect the guilty", and "that the extent of
abuse now being revealed is truly disturbing." "Everything that
could happen did happen. Allegations about beatings and violence were
widespread. Basically you could get away with murder. It was
systematic", Anderson said. An example of this impunity is
the case of eight colonial officials accused of having prisoners
tortured to death going unpunished even after their actions were
reported to London. Huw Bennett of King's College London, who had
worked with Anderson on the Chuka Massacre, said in a witness
statement to the court that the new documents "considerably
strengthen" the knowledge that the
British Army were "intimately
involved" with the colonial security forces, whom they knew were
"systematically abusing and torturing detainees in screening centres
and detention camps". In April 2011, lawyers for the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office continued to maintain that there was no such
policy. As early as November 1952, however, military reports
noted that "[t]he Army has been used for carrying out certain
functions that properly belonged to the Police, eg. searching of huts
and screening of Africans", and British soldiers arrested and
transferred Mau Mau suspects to camps where they were beaten and
tortured until they confessed. Bennett said that "the British Army
retained ultimate operational control over all security forces
throughout the Emergency", and that its military intelligence
operation worked "hand in glove" with the Kenyan
"including in screening and interrogations in centres and detention
The Kenyan government sent a letter to Hague insisting that the UK
government was legally liable for the atrocities. The Foreign
Office, however, reaffirmed its position that it was not, in fact,
liable for colonial atrocities, and argued that the documents had
not "disappeared" as part of a cover up. Nearly ten years before,
in late 2002, as the BBC aired a documentary detailing British human
rights abuses committed during the rebellion and 6,000 depositions had
been taken for the legal case, former district colonial officer John
Nottingham had expressed concern that compensation be paid soon, since
most victims were in their 80s and would soon pass away. He told the
BBC: "What went on in the
Kenya camps and villages was brutal, savage
torture. It is time that the mockery of justice that was perpetrated
in this country at that time, should be, must be righted. I feel
ashamed to have come from a Britain that did what it did here [in
Thirteen boxes of "top secret"
Kenya files are still
In October 2012, Mr Justice McCombe granted the surviving elderly test
claimants the right to sue the UK for damages. The UK
government then opted for what the claimants' lawyers called the
"morally repugnant" decision to appeal McCombe's ruling. In May
2013, it was reported that the appeal was on hold while the UK
government held compensation negotiations with the
Mau Mau status in Kenya
Partisan questions about the Mau Mau war have . . . echoed round
Kenya's political arena during 40 years of independence. How
historically necessary was Mau Mau? Did its secretive violence alone
have the power to destroy white supremacy? or did it merely sow
discord within a mass nationalism that—for all the failings of the
Kenya African Union (KAU)—was bound to win power in the end? Did Mau
Mau aim at freedom for all Kenyans? or did moderate, constitutional
politicians rescue that pluralist prize from the jaws of its ethnic
chauvinism? Has the self-sacrificial victory of the poor been unjustly
forgotten, and appropriated by the rich? or are Mau Mau's defeats and
divisions best buried in oblivion?
It is often argued that Mau Mau was suppressed as a subject for public
Kenya during the periods under Kenyatta and Daniel arap
Moi because of the key positions and influential presence of some
loyalists in government, business and other elite sectors of Kenyan
society post-1963. Unsurprisingly, during this same period
opposition groups tactically embraced the Mau Mau rebellion.
Members of Mau Mau are currently recognised by the Kenyan Government
as freedom-independence heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives
in order to free Kenyans from colonial rule. Since 2010, Mashujaa
Day (Heroes Day) has been marked annually on 20 October (the same day
Baring signed the Emergency order). According to the Kenyan
Government, Mashujaa Day will be a time for Kenyans to remember and
honour Mau Mau and other Kenyans who participated in the independence
struggle. Mashujaa Day will replace Kenyatta Day; the latter has
until now also been held on 20 October. In 2001, the Kenyan
Government announced that important Mau Mau sites were to be turned
into national monuments.
This official celebration of Mau Mau is in marked contrast to a
post-colonial norm of Kenyan governments rejection of the Mau Mau as a
symbol of national liberation. Such a turnabout has
attracted criticism of government manipulation of the Mau Mau uprising
for political ends.
We are determined to have independence in peace, and we shall not
allow hooligans to rule Kenya. We must have no hatred towards one
another. Mau Mau was a disease which had been eradicated, and must
never be remembered again.
—Speech by Jomo Kenyatta, April 1963
Dedan Kimathi, leader of the Mau Mau
Muthoni wa Kirima
Kurito ole Kisio
Robert Ruark, author of the novels Something of Value and Uhuru
Frank Kitson, author of the book Gangs and Counter-gangs
Weep Not, Child
Mungiki, contemporary Kikuyu insurgency within Kenya
History of Kenya
British military history
A The name
Kenya Land and Freedom Army is sometimes heard in
connection with Mau Mau. KLFA was the name that
Dedan Kimathi used for
a coordinating body which he tried to set up for Mau Mau. It was also
the name of another militant group that sprang up briefly in the
spring of 1960; the group was broken up during a brief operation from
26 March to 30 April.
B Between 1895 and 1920,
Kenya was formally known as British East
Africa Protectorate; between 1920 and 1963, as
Kenya Colony and
C "Squatter or resident labourers are those who reside with their
families on European farms usually for the purpose of work for the
owners. . . . Contract labourers are those who sign a contract of
service before a magistrate, for periods varying from three to twelve
months. Casual labourers leave their reserves to engage themselves to
European employers for any period from one day upwards." In return
for his services, a squatter was entitled to use some of the settler's
land for cultivation and grazing. Contract and casual workers are
together referred to as migratory labourers, in distinction to the
permanent presence of the squatters on farms. The phenomenon of
squatters arose in response to the complementary difficulties of
Europeans in finding labourers and of Africans in gaining access to
arable and grazing land.
D During the Emergency, screening was the term used by colonial
authorities to mean the interrogation of a Mau Mau suspect. The
alleged member or sympathiser of Mau Mau would be interrogated in
order to obtain an admission of guilt—specifically, a confession
that they had taken the Mau Mau oath—as well as for
^ a b Page 2011, p. 206.
^ a b Anderson 2005, p. 5.
^ a b Anderson 2005, p. 4.
^ a b Anderson 2005, p. 84.
^ Blakeley, Ruth (3 April 2009). State
Terrorism and Neoliberalism:
The North in the South. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-04246-3.
^ In English, the
Kikuyu people also are known as the "Kikuyu" and as
the "Wakikuyu" people, but their preferred exonym is "Gĩkũyũ",
derived from the Swahili language.
^ Anderson 2005.
^ The Oxford Illustrated History of the
British Army (1994) p. 350
^ "Kenya: A Love for the Forest". Time. 1964-01-17.
ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
^ The Oxford Illustrated History of the
British Army (1994)
^ Füredi 1989, p. 5.
^ Mumford 2012, p. 49.
^ Maloba 1998.
^ a b Anderson 2005, p. 4: "Much of the struggle tore through the
African communities themselves, an internecine war waged between
rebels and so-called 'loyalists' — Africans who took the side of the
government and opposed Mau Mau."
^ a b c Branch 2009, p. xii.
^ Gerlach 2010, p. 213.
^ Kanogo 1992, pp. 23–5.
^ Majdalany 1963, p. 75.
^ a b Kariuki 1960, p. 167.
^ Kariuki 1960, p. 24.
^ "MAU MAU (Religious Movement)". what-when-how.com. Retrieved
^ Curtis 2003, pp. 320.
^ a b Coray 1978, p. 179: "The [colonial] administration's
refusal to develop mechanisms whereby African grievances against
non-Africans might be resolved on terms of equity, moreover, served to
accelerate a growing disaffection with colonial rule. The
investigations of the
Kenya Land Commission of 1932–1934 are a case
study in such lack of foresight, for the findings and recommendations
of this commission, particularly those regarding the claims of the
Kikuyu of Kiambu, would serve to exacerbate other grievances and
nurture the seeds of a growing African nationalism in Kenya".
^ Anderson 2005, p. 22.
^ Anderson 2005, p. 15.
^ Curtis 2003, p. 320.
^ Ormsby-Gore 1925, p. 149.
^ Alam 2007, p. 1: The colonial presence in Kenya, in contrast
to, say, India, where it lasted almost 200 years, was brief but
equally violent. It formally started when Her Majesty's agent and
Counsel General at Zanzibar, A.H. Hardinge, in a proclamation on
1 July 1895, announced that he was taking over the Coastal areas
as well as the interior that included the Kikuyu land, now known as
^ Ellis 1986, p. 100.
You can read Dilke's speech in full here: "Class V; House of
Commons Debate, 1 June 1894". Hansard. Series 4,
Vol. 25, cc. 181–270. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
^ Edgerton 1989, p. 4. Francis Hall, an officer in the Imperial
British East Africa Company and after whom Fort Hall was named,
asserted: "There is only one way to improve the Wakikuyu [and] that is
wipe them out; I should be only too delighted to do so, but we have to
depend on them for food supplies."
^ Meinertzhagen 1957, pp. 51–2
Richard Meinertzhagen wrote of
how, on occasion, they massacred Kikuyu by the hundreds.
^ Alam 2007, p. 2.
^ Brantley 1981.
^ Atieno-Odhiambo 1995, p. 25.
^ Ogot 2003, p. 15.
^ Leys 1973, pp. 342, which notes they were "always hopeless
failures. Naked spearmen fall in swathes before machine-guns, without
inflicting a single casualty in return. Meanwhile the troops burn all
the huts and collect all the live stock within reach. Resistance once
at an end, the leaders of the rebellion are surrendered for
imprisonment . . . Risings that followed such a course could hardly be
repeated. A period of calm followed. And when unrest again appeared it
was with other leaders . . . and other motives." A particularly
interesting example, albeit outside
Kenya and featuring guns instead
of spears, of successful armed resistance to maintain crucial aspects
of autonomy is the
Basuto Gun War
Basuto Gun War of 1880–1881, whose ultimate
legacy remains tangible even today, in the form of Lesotho.
^ Maxon 1989, p. 44.
^ Robert W. Strayer (9 February 1986). "Letter: Out of Africa". The
New York Times. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
^ Lapping 1989, p. 469.
^ Berman 1990, p. 72 n.43.
^ a b c Ormsby-Gore 1925, p. 187.
^ Mosley 1983, p. 5.
^ Anderson 2005, p. 3.
^ Edgerton 1989, pp. 1–5.
Elkins 2005, p. 2, notes that the (British taxpayer) loans were
never repaid on the Uganda Railway; they were written off in the
^ a b c d e f Kanogo 1993, p. 8.
^ a b c d e f Anderson 2005, p. 10.
^ Carter 1934.
^ Shilaro 2002, p. 123.
^ Ormsby-Gore 1925, p. 159.
^ Edgerton 1989, p. 5.
^ a b c d e f Kanogo 1993, p. 9.
^ Ormsby-Gore 1925, p. 29: "This judgment is now widely known to
Africans in Kenya, and it has become clear to them that, without their
being previously informed or consulted, their rights in their tribal
land, whether communal or individual, have 'disappeared' in law and
have been superseded by the rights of the Crown."
^ Emerson Welch 1980, p. 16.
^ Anderson 2004, p. 498. "The recruitment of African labor at
poor rates of pay and under primitive conditions of work was
characteristic of the operation of colonial capitalism in Africa
during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. . . . [C]olonial states
readily colluded with capital in providing the legal framework
necessary for the recruitment and maintenance of labor in adequate
numbers and at low cost to the employer. . . . The colonial state
shared the desire of the European settler to encourage Africans into
the labour market, whilst also sharing a concern to moderate the wages
paid to workers".
^ a b Ormsby-Gore 1925, p. 173: "Casual labourers leave their
reserves . . . to earn the wherewithal to pay their 'Hut Tax' and to
get money to purchase trade goods."
^ Shilaro 2002, p. 117: "African reserves in
Kenya were legally
constituted in the Crown Lands Amendment Ordinance of 1926".
Though finalised in 1926, reserves were first instituted by the Crown
Lands Ordinance of 1915—see Ormsby-Gore 1925, p. 29.
^ Anderson 2004, pp. 506.
^ Kanogo 1993, p. 13.
^ Anderson 2004, pp. 505.
^ Creech Jones, Arthur. "Native Labour; House of Commons Debate,
10 November 1937". Hansard. Series 5, Vol. 328,
cc. 1757-9. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 17.
^ Anderson 2004, p. 508.
^ Kanogo 1993, pp. 96–7.
^ Anderson 2004, p. 507.
^ Ormsby-Gore 1925, p. 166: "In many parts of the territory we
were informed that the majority of farmers were having the utmost
difficulty in obtaining labour to cultivate and to harvest their
^ Ormsby-Gore 1925, pp. 155–6.
^ Ormsby-Gore 1925, p. 180: "The population of the district to
which one medical officer is allotted amounts more often than not to
over a quarter of a million natives distributed over a large area. . .
. [T]here are large areas in which no medical work is being
^ Swainson 1980, p. 23.
^ Anderson 2004, pp. 516–28.
^ Curtis 2003, pp. 320–1.
^ R. M. A. Van Zwanenberg; Anne King (1975). An Economic History of
Kenya and Uganda 1800-1970. The Bowering Press.
^ a b Ogot 2003, p. 16.
^ Anderson 2005, p. 282.
^ Berman 1991, p. 198.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 25.
^ Branch 2007, p. 1.
^ a b c Elkins 2005, p. 32.
^ Edgerton 1989, p. 65.
^ Füredi 1989, p. 116.
^ Edgerton 1989, pp. 66–7.
^ Anderson, David (2005). Histories of the Hanged. W. W. Norton &
Company. p. 252.
^ Anderson, David (2005). Histories of the Hanged. W. W. Norton &
Company. p. 239.
^ "When the Mau Mau Used a Biological Weapon – Owaahh". Owaahh.
2014-10-30. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
^ Presley, Cora Ann (1992). Kikuyu Women, the Mau Mau Rebellion and
Social Change in Kenya. Boulder: Westview Press.
^ Füredi 1989, p. 4.
^ Berman 1991, pp. 182–3.
^ Mahone 2006, p. 241: "This article opens with a retelling of
colonial accounts of the 'mania of 1911', which took place in the
Kamba region of
Kenya Colony. The story of this 'psychic epidemic' and
others like it were recounted over the years as evidence depicting the
predisposition of Africans to episodic mass hysteria."
^ McCulloch 2006, pp. 64–76.
Search Results for author Carothers JC on PubMed. includes a 1947
study of "mental derangement in Africans, and an attempt to explain
its peculiarities, more especially in relation to the African attitude
to life". For his "magnum opus", see Carothers 1953.
^ Füredi 1994, pp. 119–21.
^ Berman 1991, pp. 183–5.
^ Clough 1998, p. 4.
^ a b Branch 2009, p. 3.
^ a b "Mau Mau uprising: Bloody history of
Kenya conflict". BBC News.
7 April 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011. There was lots of suffering on
the other side too. This was a dirty war. It became a civil
war—though that idea remains extremely unpopular in Kenya
today. (The quote is of Professor David Anderson).
^ Füredi 1989, pp. 4–5: "Since they were the most affected by
the colonial system and the most educated about its ways, the Kikuyu
emerged as the most politicized African community in Kenya."
^ Berman 1991, p. 196: "The impact of colonial capitalism and the
colonial state hit the Kikuyu with greater force and effect than any
other of Kenya's peoples, setting off new processes of differentiation
and class formation."
^ Thomas, Beth (1993). "Historian,
Kenya native's book on Mau Mau
revolt". UpDate. 13 (13): 7.
^ See in particular David Elstein's angry letters:
"Letters: Tell me where I'm wrong". London Review of Books. 27 (11).
2005. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
"The End of the Mau Mau". The New York Review of Books. 52 (11). 2005.
Retrieved 3 May 2011.
"Letters: Tell me where I'm wrong". London Review of Books. 27 (14).
2005. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
While Elstein regards the "requirement" for the "great majority of
Kikuyu" to live inside 800 "fortified villages" as "serv[ing] the
purpose of protection", Professor David Anderson (amongst others)
regards the "compulsory resettlement" of "1,007,500 Kikuyu" inside
what, for the "most" part, were "little more than concentration camps"
as "punitive . . . to punish Mau Mau sympathisers". See Elstein's
Daniel Goldhagen and Kenya: recycling fantasy" and Anderson 2005,
^ a b c Ogot 2005, p. 502: "There was no reason and no restraint
on both sides, although Elkins sees no atrocities on the part of Mau
^ Pirouet 1977, p. 197.
^ a b Clough 1998.
^ Berman 1991, p. 197: "[D]eveloping conflicts . . . in Kikuyu
society were expressed in a vigorous internal debate."
^ Anderson 2005, pp. 11–2.
^ a b Branch 2009, p. xi.
^ Berman 1991, p. 199.
^ Branch 2009, p. 1.
^ Branch 2009, p. 2.
^ Pirouet 1977, p. 200.
^ Kalyvas 2006.
^ Edgerton 1989, pp. 31–2.
^ a b c Nissimi 2006, p. 4.
^ French 2011, p. 29.
^ "Mau Mau case: UK government accepts abuse took place". BBC News. 17
^ a b c French 2011, p. 72.
^ a b French 2011, p. 55.
^ Olivier, Sydney. "East African Policy; House of Lords Debate,
7 December 1927". Hansard. Series 5, Vol. 211,
cc. 551–600. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
The quote is of Ewart Grogan; Sydney Olivier was quoting Grogan &
Sharp 1900, p. 360.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 75: "According to Emergency regulations, the
governor could issue Native Land Rights Confiscation Orders, whereby
'[e]ach of the persons named in the schedule . . . participated or
aided in violent resistance against the forces of law and order' and
therefore had his land confiscated".
^ Wallis, Holly (18 April 2012). "British colonial files released
following legal challenge". BBC News. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
^ a b Anderson 2005, p. 62.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 35–6.
^ a b Anderson 2005, p. 63.
^ Anderson 2005, p. 68.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 38.
^ Anderson 2005, p. 69.
^ Anderson 2005, pp. 62–3.
^ Andrew 2009, pp. 456–7.
See also: Walton 2013, pp. 236–86.
^ Andrew 2009, p. 454. See also the relevant footnote, n.96 of
^ Elkins 2005, p. 39.
^ a b Berman 1991, p. 189.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 37.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 37–8.
^ a b Clough 1998, p. 25.
^ a b French 2011, p. 116.
^ Edgerton 1989, p. 83.
^ "They Follow the Dug-Out General". Sunday Mail. Brisbane. 19 April
1953. p. 15. Retrieved 17 November 2013 – via National Library
^ "END MAY BE NEAR FOR THE MAU MAU". The Sunday Herald. Sydney. 30
August 1953. p. 8. Retrieved 17 November 2013 – via National
Library of Australia.
^ "PSYOP of the Mau-Mau UprisingSGM" Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.) 4 Jan
2006, accessed 9 November 2013
^ "MAU MAU GENERAL SURRENDERS". The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 March
1954. p. 3. Retrieved 9 November 2013 – via National Library of
^ French 2011, p. 32.
^ French 2011, pp. 116–7.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 124: "There was an unusual consensus in the
ranks of both the military and Baring's civilian government that the
colony's capital was the nerve center for Mau Mau operations. Nearly
three-quarters of the city's African male population of sixty thousand
were Kikuyu, and most of these men, along with some twenty thousand
Kikuyu women and children accompanying them, were allegedly 'active or
passive supporters of Mau Mau'."
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 121–5.
^ a b c d Chappell 2011.
^ Chappell 2011, p. 68.
^ Edgerton 1989, p. 86: "Before the Emergency ended, the RAF
dropped the amazing total of 50,000 tons of bombs on the forests and
fired over 2 million rounds from machine guns during strafing
runs. It is not known how many humans or animals were killed."
^ Chappell 2011, p. 67.
^ Edgerton 1989, p. 86.
^ Anderson 1988: "The
Swynnerton Plan was among the most comprehensive
of all the post-war colonial development programmes implemented in
British Africa. Largely framed prior to the declaration of the State
of Emergency in 1952, but not implemented until two years later, this
development is central to the story of Kenya's decolonization".
^ Elkins 2005, p. 127.
^ Ogot 1995, p. 48.
^ Anderson 1988.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 128–9.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 125.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 62–90.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 109.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 108.
^ The term gulag is used by David Anderson and Caroline Elkins. For
Anderson, see his 2005 Histories of the Hanged, p. 7: "Virtually
every one of the acquitted men . . . would spend the next several
years in the notorious detention camps of the Kenyan gulag"; for
Elkins, see the title of the UK edition of her 2005 book, Britain's
^ Elkins 2005, p. 136.
^ a b Editorial (11 April 2011). "Mau Mau abuse case: Time to say
sorry". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
^ a b c Elkins 2005, pp. 154–91.
^ Peterson 2008, pp. 75–6, 89, 91: "Some detainees, worried
that the substance of their lives was draining away, thought their
primary duty lay with their families. They therefore confessed to
British officers, and sought an early release from detention. Other
detainees refused to accept the British demand that they sully other
people's reputations by naming those whom they knew to be involved in
Mau Mau. This 'hard core' kept their mouths closed, and languished for
years in detention. The battle behind the wire was not fought over
detainees' loyalty to a Mau Mau movement. Detainees' intellectual and
moral concerns were always close to home. . . . British officials
thought that those who confessed had broken their allegiance to Mau
Mau. But what moved detainees to confess was not their broken loyalty
to Mau Mau, but their devotion to their families. British officials
played on this devotion to hasten a confession. . . . The battle
behind the wire was not fought between patriotic hard-core Mau Mau and
weak-kneed, wavering, broken men who confessed. . . . Both hard core
and soft core had their families in mind."
^ a b Elkins 2005, p. 178.
^ a b Editorial (13 April 2011). "Taking on the Boss: The quiet
whistleblowers on events in
Kenya deserve praise". The Times.
Retrieved 13 April 2011.
^ a b c d e Elkins 2005, pp. 179–91.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 148. It is debatable whether Peter Kenyatta was
sympathetic to Mau Mau in the first place and therefore whether he
truly switched sides.
^ Mike Thompson (7 April 2011). "Mau Mau blame 'goes right to the
top'". Today. BBC. 00:40–00:54. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 176–7.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 171–7.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 144.
^ Elkins 2005, Chapter 5: The Birth of Britain's Gulag.
^ Curtis 2003, pp. 316–33.
^ Ian Cobain; Peter Walker (11 April 2011). "Secret memo gave
guidelines on abuse of Mau Mau in 1950s". The Guardian. Retrieved 13
April 2011. Baring informed Lennox-Boyd that eight European officers
were facing accusations of a series of murders, beatings and
shootings. They included: "One District Officer, murder by beating up
and roasting alive of one African." Despite receiving such clear
briefings, Lennox-Boyd repeatedly denied that the abuses were
happening, and publicly denounced those colonial officials who came
forward to complain.
^ Peterson 2008, p. 84.
^ a b c Elkins 2005, p. 262.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 151–2.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 227.
^ Curtis 2003, p. 327.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 153.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 240–1.
^ French 2011, pp. 116–37.
^ McCulloch 2006, p. 70.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 234–5. See also n.3 of p. 235.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 235. Anderson 2005, p. 294, gives a
slightly lower figure (1,007,500) for the number of individuals
^ Elkins 2005, p. 240.
^ a b c Anderson 2005, p. 294.
^ Nissimi 2006, pp. 9–10.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 239.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 236–7.
^ French 2011, p. 120.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 238.
^ Anderson 2005, p. 293.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 252.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 259–60.
^ a b c Elkins 2005, p. 260.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 263.
^ a b Blacker 2007.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 260–1.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 263: "It is accepted policy that cases of
pulmonary tuberculosis . . . be returned to their reserve to avail
themselves of the routine medical control and treatment within their
areas". (The quote is of the colony's director of medical services).
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 263–4: "The financial situation has now
worsened. . . . Schemes of medical help, however desirable and however
high their medical priority, could not in [these] circumstances be
approved". (The quote is of Baring).
^ a b Pinckney, Thomas C.; Kimuyu, Peter K. (1994-04-01). "Land Tenure
Reform in East Africa: Good, Bad or Unimportant?1". Journal of African
Economies. 3 (1): 1–28. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.jae.a036794.
^ Anderson 2005, p. 2.
^ a b c
David Elstein (7 April 2011). "
Daniel Goldhagen and Kenya:
recycling fantasy". openDemocracy.org. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
^ Elkins 2005, p. xiv.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 366.
^ Anderson 2005, p. 7.
^ Gary D. Solis (15 February 2010). The Law of Armed Conflict:
International Humanitarian Law in War. Cambridge University Press.
pp. 301–303. ISBN 978-1-139-48711-5.
^ "The sun is at last setting on Britain's imperial myth".
^ MARK CURTIS (2003). WEB OF DECEIT: BRITAIN'S REAL FOREIGN POLICY:
BRITAIN'S REAL ROLE IN THE WORLD. VINTAGE. pp. 324–330.
Caroline Elkins (2005). Britain's gulag: the brutal end of empire in
Kenya. Pimlico. pp. 124–145.
^ David Anderson (23 January 2013). Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty
Kenya and the End of Empire. W. W. Norton.
^ a b "Kenya: UK expresses regret over abuse as Mau Mau promised
payout". The Guardian. London. 5 June 2013.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 87.
^ "Sins of colonialists lay concealed for decades in secret archive".
The Guardian. London. 18 April 2012.
^ Maloba, Wunyabari O. Mau Mau and Kenya: An Analysis of a Peasant
Revolt. (Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana: 1993) pp.
^ "indepth/special-report-3". ogiek.org. Archived from the original on
21 October 2004. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
^ "Mau Mau massacre documents revealed". BBC News. 30 November 2012.
Retrieved 6 December 2013.
^ Anderson 2005, pp. 119–180.
^ Anderson 2005, p. 127.
^ Anderson 2005, p. 132.
^ Anderson 2005, p. 94.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 42.
^ Elkins 2005, p. 66.
^ Carus, W. Seth (2002). Bioterrorism and Biocrimes: The Illicit Use
of Biological Agents Since 1900 (Reprint of 1st ed.). Amsterdam:
Fredonia Books. pp. 63–65. This episode is not mentioned in
histories of the Mau Mau revolt, suggesting that such incidents were
^ a b Wasserman 1976, p. 1.
^ Nissimi 2006, p. 2.
^ Branch & Cheeseman 2006, p. 11: "The co-option of
sympathetic African elites during the colonial twilight into the
bureaucracy, the legislature and the private property-based economy
meant that the allies of colonialism and representatives of
transnational capital were able to reap the benefits of independence.
. . . The post-colonial state must therefore be seen as a
representation of the interests protected and promoted during the
latter years of colonial rule. Under Jomo Kenyatta, the post-colonial
state represented a 'pact-of-domination' between transnational
capital, the elite and the executive."
^ Percox 2005, pp. 752.
^ Lonsdale 2000, pp. 109–10. "Mau Mau, despite its problematic
claims to be called 'nationalist' . . . forced the issue of
power in a way that KAU had never done. It was not that Mau Mau won
its war against the British; guerrilla movements rarely win in
military terms; and militarily Mau Mau was defeated. But in order to
crown peace with sustainable civil governance—and thus reopen a
prospect of controlled decolonization—the British had to abandon
'multiracialism' and adopt African rule as their vision of Kenya's
future. . . . The blood of Mau Mau, no matter how peculiarly
ethnic in source and aim, was the seed of Kenya's all-African
^ Wasserman 1976, p. 1: "Although the rise of nationalist
movements in Africa was certainly a contributing factor in the
dismantling of the colonial empires, one cannot wholly attribute the
'demise of colonialism' to the rise of nationalism. . . . [T]he
decolonization process was shaped by an adaptive reaction of colonial
political and economic interests to the political ascendency of a
nationalist elite and to the threat of disruption by the masses."
^ "British-backed Mau Mau memorial set to open in rare colonial
apology". The Economic Times. AFP. 11 September 2015.
^ "Former guerrillas seek damages". The Irish Times. 8 August 1999.
Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ "Mau Mau compensation demand". BBC News. 20 August 1999. Retrieved
30 May 2012.
^ Thompson, Mike (9 November 2002). "Mau Mau rebels threaten court
action". BBC News. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ Plaut, Martin (31 August 2003). "
Kenya lifts ban on Mau Mau". BBC
News. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ Mike Pflanz (11 October 2006). "Mau Mau veterans issue writ
deadline". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 11 February
^ Mitchell, Andrew (26 September 2006). "Mau Mau veterans to sue over
British 'atrocities'". The Independent. London. Retrieved 12 April
^ a b Ireland, Corydon (1 September 2011). "Justice for Kenya's Mau
Mau". Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ McGhie, John (9 November 2002). "Kenya: White Terror". BBC.
Retrieved 26 May 2012.
^ " 'He came with pliers'—Kenyan alleges torture by British
colonial authorities". BBC News. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 30 May
^ "Mau Mau case: UK government cannot be held liable". BBC News. 7
April 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
^ a b c McConnell, Tristan (21 July 2011). "Kenyan veterans celebrate
first victory in compensation claim". The Times. Retrieved 29 May
^ Macintyre, Ben (8 April 2011). "In court to face the ghosts of the
past". The Times. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ "UK 'atrocity' apology". BBC News. 4 March 2005. Retrieved 30 May
^ Owen Bowcott (5 April 2011). "Kenyans sue UK for alleged colonial
human rights abuses". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
^ Owen Bowcott (7 April 2011). "Mau Mau victims seek compensation from
UK for alleged torture". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February
^ Owen Bowcott (21 July 2011). "Mau Mau torture claim Kenyans win
right to sue British government". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July
^ Dominic Casciani (21 July 2011). "Mau Mau Kenyans allowed to sue UK
government". BBC News. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
^ Macintyre, Ben; Ralph, Alex; McConnell, Tristan (21 July 2011).
"Kenyans can sue over 'colonial torture' ". The Times. Retrieved
29 May 2012.
^ Editorial (22 July 2011). "Good News from London". The Times.
Retrieved 29 May 2012.
Ben Macintyre (12 April 2011). "
Torture device No 1: the legal
rubber stamp". The Times. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
^ Elkins 2011.
^ "Kenyans were tortured during Mau Mau rebellion, High Court hears".
London: telegraph.co.uk. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
^ a b Ben Macintyre; Billy Kenber (13 April 2011). "Brutal beatings
and the 'roasting alive' of a suspect: what secret Mau Mau files
reveal". The Times. Retrieved 13 April 2011. Sir Evelyn Baring, the
Governor of Kenya, in a telegram to the Secretary of State for the
Colonies, reported allegations of extreme brutality made against eight
European district officers. They included 'assault by beating up and
burning of two Africans during screening [interrogation]' and one
officer accused of 'murder by beating up and roasting alive of one
African'. No action was taken against the accused.
Caroline Elkins (14 April 2011). "My critics ignored evidence of
torture in Mau Mau detention camps". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 April
^ a b c d Kenber, Billy (19 April 2011). "New documents show how
Britain sanctioned Mau Mau torture". The Times. Retrieved 29 May
^ a b Andy McSmith (8 April 2011). "Cabinet 'hushed up' torture of Mau
Mau rebels". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 February
^ Wallis, Holly (18 April 2012). "British colonial files released
following legal challenge". BBC News. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
^ Question, House of Lords, London 12 May 1959 – 'Whether the
Government will make available to this House the text of the Cowan
^ Dominic Casciani (12 April 2011). "British Mau Mau abuse papers
revealed". BBC News. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
^ a b c
Ben Macintyre (5 April 2011). "Tales of brutality and violence
that could open the claims floodgate". The Times. Retrieved 6 April
2011. A letter was sent to William Hague on March 31 stating: 'The
Kenya fully supports the claimants' case and has publicly
denied any notion that responsibility for any acts and atrocities
committed by the British colonial administration during the Kenya
'Emergency' was inherited by the Republic of Kenya.'
^ David Anderson (25 July 2011). "It's not just Kenya. Squaring up to
the seamier side of empire is long overdue". The Guardian. Retrieved
27 July 2011.
^ For more on Anderson's reaction to the 'missing' papers, see:
"Colonial secret papers to be made public". BBC News. 6 May 2011.
Retrieved 12 May 2011.
Mark Thompson (7 April 2011). "Mau Mau blame 'goes right to the top'".
Today. BBC. 02:38–03:31. Retrieved 12 May 2011. These new documents
were withheld because they were considered to be particularly
sensitive, so we can but imagine what will be in these
documents. . . . Senior members of the Commonwealth
Office in London did know what was happening; senior legal officials
in London did, to some extent, sanction the use of coercive force; and
also, at Cabinet level, the Secretary of State for the Colonies
certainly knew of the excesses that were taking place. (The
quote is of Anderson).
^ James Blitz (5 April 2011). "Mau Mau case casts light on colonial
records". Financial Times. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
^ McGhie, John (9 November 2002). "Kenya: White Terror".
Correspondent. BBC. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
^ Macintyre, Ben; Kenber, Billy (15 April 2011). "Hundreds more top
secret files missing in Mau Mau abuse case". The Times. Retrieved 26
May 2012. In a statement to the court dated March 8, released to The
Times yesterday, Martin Tucker, head of corporate records at the
Foreign Office, reported that the 13 missing boxes could not be found.
'There were at one time a further 13 boxes of material retrieved from
Kenya at independence which are additional to the documents discovered
in Hanslope Park [the closed Foreign Office repository in
Buckinghamshire] in January of this year,' he wrote. He found evidence
that the files had once been stored in the basement of the Old
Admiralty Building in Whitehall, but traces of them had vanished after
^ Elkins, Caroline (18 April 2012). "The colonial papers: FCO
transparency is a carefully cultivated myth". The Guardian. Retrieved
7 May 2012.
^ Cobain, Ian (5 October 2012). "Mau Mau torture case: Kenyans win
ruling against UK". theguardian.com. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
^ Day, Martyn; Leader, Dan (5 October 2012). "The Kenyans tortured by
the British must now be justly treated". theguardian.com. Retrieved 6
^ Townsend, Mark (23 December 2012). "Fury as Britain fights ruling on
Kenya torture victims". theguardian.com. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
^ Cobain, Ian; Hatcher, Jessica (5 May 2013). "Kenyan Mau Mau victims
in talks with UK government over legal settlement". theguardian.com.
Retrieved 6 May 2012.
^ Bennett, Huw (5 May 2013). "Kenyan Mau Mau: official policy was to
cover up brutal mistreatment". theguardian.com. Retrieved 6 May
^ Lonsdale 2003, p. 47.
^ Elkins 2005, pp. 360–3: "During the run-up to independence
and the years that followed, former loyalists also wielded political
clout to consolidate their own interests and power. Under Kenyatta
many became influential members of the new government. . . . This
system of loyalist patronage percolated all the way down to the local
level of government, with former Home Guards dominating bureaucracies
that had once been the preserve of the young British colonial officers
in the African districts. Of the numerous vacancies created by
decolonization—powerful posts like provincial commissioner and
district commissioner—the vast majority were filled by one time
^ Branch 2009, pp. xii–xiii.
^ a b Jacob Ole Miaron, Permanent Secretary of the Vice President
Ministry of State for National Heritage and Culture (26 February
2009). "Speech to the 52nd Commemoration of the Memory of Dedan
Kimathi" (pdf). Retrieved 14 April 2011.
^ "Chapter Two—The Republic" (PDF). Constitution of Kenya, 2010.
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^ Dominic Odipo (10 May 2010). "Who are Kenya's real heroes?". The
Standard. Nairobi: Standard Group. Changing Kenyatta Day to Mashujaa
Day is not just an innocuous and harmless exercise in constitutional
^ a b Jenkins, Cathy (22 March 2001). "Monuments for the Mau Mau". BBC
News. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ Anderson 2005, pp. 335–6: "[Kenyatta] often spoke of the need
to 'forgive and forget', and to 'bury the past'. He acknowledged the
part the freedom fighters had played in the struggle, but he never
once made any public statement that conceded to them any rights or any
genuine compensation. Mau Mau was a thing best forgotten. . . . In
Kenya there would be a deafening silence about Mau Mau".
^ Branch 2009, pp. xiii–xiv.
^ Nissimi 2006, p. 11.
^ Ormsby-Gore 1925, p. 148.
^ Kanogo 1993, p. 10.
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Clough, Marshall S. (1990). Fighting Two Sides: Kenyan Chiefs and
Politicians, 1918–1940. Niwot, CO: University Press of
Colorado. ISBN 978-0-870-81207-1.
Derrick, Jonathan (2008). Africa's "Agitators": Militant
Anti-Colonialism in Africa and the West, 1918–1939. New
York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Heinlein, Frank (2002). British Government Policy and Decolonisation,
1945-1963: Scrutinising the Official Mind. London: Frank Cass.
Henderson, Ian; Goodhart, Philip (1958). Man Hunt in Kenya. New
York, NY: Doubleday and Company.
Hewitt, Peter (2008) .
Kenya Cowboy: A Police Officer's Account
of the Mau Mau Emergency. Johannesburg: 30° South Publishers.
Kariuki, Josiah Mwangi (1975). "Mau Mau" Detainee: The Account by a
Kenya African of his Experiences in Detention Camps 1953–1960. New
York and London: Oxford University Press.
Kyle, Keith (1999). The Politics of the Independence of Kenya.
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-72008-3.
Lonsdale, John (1990). "Mau Maus of the Mind: Making Mau Mau and
Remaking Kenya". The Journal of African History. 31 (3): 393–421.
doi:10.1017/s0021853700031157. JSTOR 182877.
Lovatt Smith, David (2005). Kenya, the Kikuyu and Mau Mau. Mawenzi
Books. ISBN 978-0-954-47132-3.
Lyttelton, Oliver (1962). The Memoirs of Lord Chandos. London: Bodley
Marsh, Zoe; Kingsnorth, G. W. (1972). A History of East Africa.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-08348-6.
Murphy, Philip (1999) . Party Politics and Decolonization: The
Conservative Party and British Colonial Policy in Tropical Africa,
1951–1964. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Murphy, Philip (1999). Alan Lennox-Boyd: A Biography. London:
I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-86064-406-1.
Njagi, David (1991). The Last Mau Mau (Kenya's Freedom Heroes or
Villains?): An Excerpt. Nairobi. Archived from the original on 24 July
Parsons, Timothy (1999). African Rank-and-File: Social Implications of
Colonial Military Service in the King's African Rifles, 1902–1964.
Hanover, NH: Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-325-00140-1.
Percox, David (2011) . Britain,
Kenya and the Cold War: Imperial
Defence, Colonial Security and Decolonisation. London: I.B. Tauris.
Shilaro, Priscilla M (2002). "Colonial Land Policies: The
Commission and the Kakamega Gold Rush, 1932–4". In William Robert
Ochieng. Historical Studies and Social Change in Western Kenya: Essays
in Memory of Professor Gideon S. Were. Nairobi: East African
Educational Publishers. pp. 110–128.
Throup, David (1987). Economic and Social Origins of Mau Mau,
1945–53. Oxford: James Currey. ISBN 0-85255-024-3.
Archive newsreels from Pathé News. Includes footage of: military
operations against Mau Mau; the capture of Dedan Kimathi; capture of
General China (Waruhiu Itote); the survivors of the
Lari massacre and
the defendants' trial; Operation Anvil.
Colonial Film's archive footage of Mau Mau
The Black Man's Land Trilogy, series of films on
Kenya including Part
Two, "Mau Mau", described as "a political analysis of Africa's first
modern guerrilla war and the myths that still surround it."
"Lost" Mau Mau-era government-documents posted by the BBC's Dominic
"Mau-Mau" Podcast about the
Mau Mau Uprising
Mau Mau Uprising and British repression
from Radiolab (WNYC – New York Public Radio)
Surrender Pass issued under Baring's 18 January 1955 Amnesty
Arab slave trade
East Africa Protectorate
In World War II
Kenya African Union
Mau Mau Uprising
1982 coup d'état attempt
Great Rift Valley
World Heritage Sites
Counties (*Coat of arms *Flags)
Prime Minister (defunct)
Water supply and sanitation
Coat of arms
Colonial conflicts involving the English/British Empire
Saint Kitts (1626)
Pequot War (1634–38)
Anglo-Spanish War (1654–60)
King Philip's War
King Philip's War (1675–78)
King William's War
King William's War (1688–97)
Queen Anne's War
Queen Anne's War (1702–13)
Tuscarora War (1711–15)
Yamasee War (1715–17)
Father Rale's War/
Dummer's War (1722–25)
War of Jenkins' Ear
War of Jenkins' Ear (1740–42)
King George's War
King George's War (1744–48)
Carnatic Wars (1746–63)
Nova Scotia (1749–55)
French and Indian War
French and Indian War (1754–63)
Seven Years' War (1756–63)
Anglo–Cherokee War (1758–61)
Anglo-Spanish War (1762–63)
Pontiac's War (1763–66)
Lord Dunmore's War
Lord Dunmore's War (1774)
American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War (1775–83)
First Anglo–Maratha War (1775–82)
Second Anglo–Mysore War (1779–84)
Gold Coast (1781–82)
Australian Frontier Wars (1788–1934)
Nootka Sound (1789)
Third Anglo–Mysore War (1789–92)
Cotiote (Wayanad) War (1793–1806)
Cape Colony (1795)
Kandyan Wars (1796–1818)
Fourth Anglo–Mysore War (1798–99)
Dwyer's Guerrilla Campaign (1799–1803)
Castle Hill convict rebellion
Second Anglo–Maratha War (1803–05)
Cape Colony (1806)
Río de la Plata (1806–07)
Froberg mutiny (1807)
Xhosa Wars (1811–79)
Cape Colony (1815)
Third Anglo-Maratha War
Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–18)
Anglo-Ashanti wars (1824–1901)
First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–26)
Black War (Van Diemen's Land) 1828–32)
Lower Canada (1837–38)
Upper Canada (1837–38)
Egyptian–Ottoman War (1839–41)
First Anglo-Afghan War
First Anglo-Afghan War (1839–42)
First Opium War
First Opium War (1839–42)
New Zealand Wars
New Zealand Wars (1845–72)
First Anglo–Sikh War (1845–46)
Río de la Plata (1845–50)
Second Anglo–Sikh War (1848–49)
Second Anglo–Burmese War (1852)
Eureka Rebellion (1852)
Anglo–Persian War (1856–57)
Second Opium War
Second Opium War (1856–60)
Indian Rebellion (1857–59)
Ambela Campaign (1863–64)
Bhutan War (1864–65)
Fenian Rebellion in Canada (1866–71)
Anglo–Zulu War (1879)
Second Anglo-Afghan War
Second Anglo-Afghan War (1879–80)
First Boer War
First Boer War (1880–81)
Mahdist War (1881–99)
Anglo-Egyptian War (1882)
Central Africa (1886–89)
Third Anglo-Burmese War
Third Anglo-Burmese War (1885)
Hunza-Nagar Campaign (1891)
Anglo-Manipur War (1891)
North Borneo (1894–1905)
Chitral Expedition (1895)
Jameson Raid South Africa (1896)
Anglo–Zanzibar War (1896)
Benin Expedition (1897)
Siege of Malakand
Siege of Malakand (1897)
First Mohmand Campaign (1897–98)
Tirah Campaign (1897–98)
Six-Day War (1899)
Boxer Rebellion (1898–1901)
Second Boer War
Second Boer War (1899–1902)
West Africa (1901–02)
Tibet expedition (1903–04)
Bambatha Rebellion (1906)
Third Anglo-Afghan War
Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919)
Waziristan campaign (1919–1920)
Malabar Rebellion (1921)
Pink's War (1925)
Ikhwan Revolt (1927–30)
Barzani revolt (1931–32)
Second Mohmand Campaign (1935)
Waziristan campaign (1936–1939)
Malayan Emergency (1948–60)
Mau Mau Uprising
Mau Mau Uprising
Cyprus Emergency (1955–59)
Suez Crisis (1956)