THE High Court yesterday rejected the disgraceful British government attempt to strike out the claims of Kenyan victims of British Colonial torture and terror on the grounds of ‘state succession’.
This was that the Kenyan governments that followed on from the ending of the colonial administration, and its foul deeds, had to take responsibility for the actions of the British torturers.
In fact, the judge labelled the British government’s efforts to avoid responsibility as ‘dishonourable’.
The four claimants have each suffered unspeakable acts of brutality, including castrations and severe sexual assaults, and represent the wider community of hundreds of elderly Kenyans who are still alive and were the victims of abuses during the Emergency.
President Obama’s grandfather was among those who were detained and abused at the time, explaining the fears of modern day British governments that he has a certain contempt for them.
The military operations against the Mau Mau Land and Freedom Army, which was seeking to reclaim its own country, were an abomination even in the UK at the time that they were taking place from 1952-60.
Even popular British newspapers such as the Daily Mirror campaigned against this war and pointed to the way that 18-year-old British conscripts were being turned into sadistic killers and torturers in hell holes such as the Hola Camp.
The facts speak for themselves.
David Anderson in Histories of the Hanged, W W Norton and Company, N Y, 2005, wrote: ‘Kenya’s hanging judges were kept busy. Between April 1953 and December 1956 the Special Emergency Assize Courts tried a total of 2,609 Kikuyu on capital charges relating to Mau Mau offences in 1,211 trials. Around 40% of those accused were acquitted, but 1,574 were convicted and sentenced to hang over this period . . . In total approximately 3,000 Kikuyu stood trial between 1952 and 1958 on capital charges relating to the Mau Mau movement . . . In all, 1,090 Kikuyu would go to the gallows . . .
‘The actual number of white civilians killed during the uprising was 32, while the number of African civilians killed by Mau Mau was officially put at 1,819. Of the insurgents, it is believed that 11,000 were killed and more than 1,000 were hanged as criminals.’
However, the campaign was not an exception: it was the rule, and its lessons were used in the campaigns that followed in the Arabian Gulf and nearer to home in northern Ireland, and were seen as relevant for operations inside Britain.
The career of General Frank Kitson of ‘Low Intensity Operations’ notoriety illustrates this. He was involved in putting down the Malayan insurgency and also in operations against the Mau Mau, and then in operations in Cyprus against EOKA.
In Kenya, he developed the ‘black on black’ operations, where blacked up British officers led turned Mau Mau fighters into operations where they infiltrated Mau Mau groups, prior to slaughtering them.
In 1971 he wrote ‘Low Intensity Operations’ where he declared that the army would have to be trained to intervene with great ruthlessness to take action in the UK when masses of people took to the streets with just grievances and threatened the government.
Kitson was the brigadier in charge of ten Belfast-based battalions – including 1 Para which in 1972 carried out the Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry.
Thus, when the ex-Mau Mau fighters carry their case forward, they will be fighting not just for themselves and other Kenyan ex-freedom fighters, but also for all those who have been victims of the British military’s anti-insurgency tactics that were developed in Kenya and are in use today.
This is not an academic matter since the ruling class in the UK is now actively preparing the forces that will be used against the working class when it takes to the streets in its millions to defeat their plans to smash the Welfare State.