LONDON (The Guardian) - The British government has been criticized by the UN for a lack of resolution over colonial-era crimes committed in Kenya.
Six UN special rapporteurs have written to the government expressing concern over its failure to provide “effective remedies and reparations” to the Kipsigis and Talai peoples.
The Kipsigis and Talai clans of Kericho county, Kenya were brutally evicted by the British army between 1895 and 1963 to make way for lucrative tea plantations owned by white settlers.
Having never received any form of redress for the human rights violations they suffered, they filed a complaint to the UN calling for an investigation in 2019.
Lawyers say the UK pursued an intentional policy of violent displacement after realizing the land in Kericho County was suited to growing tea, and argued the treatment of these Kenyans amounted to a gross violation of human rights.
Starting with the crown land ordinance of 1902, 36,000 hectares (90,000 acres) of land in Kericho is alleged to have been taken from the Kipsigis and Talai, and given to white Europeans. The land is now occupied by various British and multinational tea corporations.
The British government was given 60 days to respond to allegations and urged to take necessary measures to stop the violations and prevent their recurrence before the communication was made public, but it has not responded.
In a new report the UN has demanded that the British government must now provide responses and settle the matter with the victims, many of whom are still alive. The rapporteurs specifically expressed concern about failures to adopt measures to establish the facts and truth about the circumstances, to provide public apologies including an official acknowledgment of their plight and a lack of reparation to victims and their descendants.
The UN rapporteurs have told the British government that reparation should include “measures in the areas of restitution, compensation, rehabilitation”.