Britain has agreed on a multi-million pound compensation settlement for thousands of Kenyans tortured by colonial forces during an uprising at the tail end of the British Empire, a lawyer and expert witness said on Wednesday (June 5).
Negotiations began after a London court ruled in October that three elderly Kenyans, who suffered castration, rape and beatings while in detention during a crackdown by British forces and their Kenyan allies in the 1950s, could sue Britain.
The torture took place during the so-called Kenyan "Emergency" of 1952-60, when fighters from the Mau Mau movement attacked British targets, causing panic among white settlers and alarming the government in London.
Kenyan lawyer Paul Muite, an advisor to the Mau Mau veterans seeking compensation, said that they have agreed on an out-of-court settlement.
A formal announcement on the settlement is expected as early as Thursday.
Britain's foreign office declined to comment on reports that the settlement would total £14 million.
This would work out at about £2,600 - or 339,560 Kenyan shillings - per claimant in a country where average national income per capita is around 70,000 shillings.
The Mau Mau nationalist movement originated in the 1950s among the Kikuyu people of Kenya. Its loyalists advocated violent resistance to British domination of the country.
The government then said the claim was brought long after the legal time limit. But a judge in October's ruling said there was ample documentary evidence to make a fair trial possible.
Presented by Adam Justice