1950-1959 | Kenya | Torture

General warns against inquiry into British crimes in Kenya

10 December 1953 On 10 December 1953, in a letter to the War Office, General George Erskine, commanding British forces in Kenya, admitted that he was aware that the police and army in the colony frequently resorted to summary executions and torture against suspect Mau Mau insurgents. ‘There is no doubt’, he confessed to Whitehall…

1950-1959 | Kenya

British general warns against prosecuting Kenyan militia for murder

9 June 1954 On 9 June 1954 ,  General Erskine, commanding British troops in Kenya, advised the War Council against prosecuting members of Kenya’s Home Guard for murder. ‘They do a very good job because they do it from the heart and with faith in the Kenya Government… I must warn the War Council that…

1950-1959 | Backing Apartheid | Collective punishments | Concentration camps | Kenya

Thousands of black Nairobians transported to concentration camps

24 April 1954 On 24 April 1954, British troops, under orders from General Sir George Erskine, started to round up thousands of Africans living in Nairobi and deport them to  concentration camps. The operation was part of a deliberate policy of apartheid and collective punishment aimed at crushing the nationalist Mau Mau insurgency.  Military vehicles…

1950-1959 | Kenya

British general advises against prosecution of Kenyan militia

9 January 1955 On 9 January 1955, General Sir George Erskine, commanding British forces in Kenya, advised the War Office not to prosecute any Home Guard loyalist forces for murder, torture and other war crimes. ‘I do not like.’ he explained, ‘arrangements by which loyalists charged and arrested at present will have their cases proceeded…