Kenyans call on UN for help to support their call for an investigation into abuse during colonial years

The United Nations have been asked to help get justice for thousands of Kenyans whose families were displaced and abused under an “organised, systematic and discriminatory” policy by the British government during the colonial period.

A complaint to the UN special rapporteur has been submitted on behalf of more than 115,000 alleged victims, originally from Kericho county, who claim that they were forcibly and violently removed from ancestral lands by the British Army.

It is alleged that the army was acting on instructions from colonial administrators and police, that the victims were made to live in poverty in arid, disease-ridden “native reserves”. It is also alleged that many were raped, tortured and beaten.

According to their lawyers, the UK pursued an “intentional policy of violent displacement and resettlement” and that their treatment between 1895 and 1963 amounts to gross violations of human rights, which were the product of an “organised, systematic and discriminatory policy”.

The complainants want the British government to open an investigation into the alleged crimes and pay compensation for any abuse suffered.

This latest move follows the Foreign and Commonwealth Office refusing to investigate following a complaint filed last November. 

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