The Kenya Human Rights Commission has demanded from the monarch “an unequivocal public apology” for abuses committed during colonialism.
King Charles expressed his “pain” and “deep regret” for the “unjustified acts of violence” carried out by the United Kingdom in Kenya during the turbulent period known as the “emergency” that ended with the independence of African country 60 years ago. years
Carlos and Camilla wanted to mark the appropriate anniversary of Kenya’s independence with their trip to Nairobi, the first in a Commonwealth of Nations country since the Coronation.
The ghosts of the colonial era and the abuses and torture carried out by the British authorities, during what is also known as the Mau Mau rebellion against the British empire, have haunted the monarch since his arrival on Monday on an official visit lasting four days.
The Kenya Human Rights Commission demanded from Carlos “an unequivocal public apology” for the abuses committed during colonialism. In his long-awaited speech, Carlos did not go too far, although he urged Britons and Kenyans to “recognize the painful moments of our long and complicated relationship.”
King Charles was received on Tuesday with 21 salutes, accompanied by President William Ruto, and contributed to the planting of many trees in the gardens of the Presidential Palace. Next, I visited the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Uhuru Gardens, the place where the African nation’s independence was declared in 1963.
During the visit the monarch is expected to acknowledge “painful aspects of the shared history between the United Kingdom and Kenya.” According to a statement from Buckingham Palace, “His Majesty will spend time examining the wrongs suffered by the people of Kenya during that time.”
The “period” referred to in the statement is known as “the emergency”, between 1952 and 1962 (at the height of the struggle for independence), when it is estimated that British soldiers forced the imprisonment of one and a half million Kenyans. . in concentration camps, where they were subjected to torture, rape and abuse.
The treatment of thousands of Kenyans during the “Mau Mau rebellion” was described in 1957 as “reminiscent of conditions in Nazi Germany or Communist Russia” in a letter to British authorities by the colony’s former attorney general, Eric Griffith-Jones.
More than 5,000 Kenyans have joined a collective legal action over abuses committed during the “emergency.” The court battle lasted more than a decade until In 2013, an out-of-court settlement was reached with an estimated payment of 20 million pounds. (23 million euros) in victim compensation and a statement of “regret and regret” from the British Government.
At the Commonwealth of Nations summit held last year, Charles shocked everyone and everything with a reference to the role of slavery. In Kenya, leaders of the Nandi ethnic group hope the monarch will go further and directly apologize for abuses, torture, killings and land grabbing.
The specter of the wounds of colonialism has haunted Charles since his accession to the throne. Some of the 56 countries that make up the Commonwealth of Nations – most of them former British colonies – want to open a debate on slavery reparations. Others, such as Jamaica, sought to follow the path of Barbados and break ties with the British monarchy by declaring themselves a republic.