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Britain to Compensate Kenyans Tortured During Rebellion

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Britain has agreed to compensate Kenyans who were tortured during a rebellion against colonial rule in the 1950s.

Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament Thursday that more than 5,200 Kenyans will receive payments in a package worth nearly $31 million.



"The British government recognizes that Kenyans were subject to torture and other forms of ill treatment at the hands of the colonial administration," Hague said. "The British government sincerely regrets that these abuses took place and that they marred Kenya's progress toward independence."



The abuse took place at a time Britain was trying to suppress the "Mau Mau" guerilla war against British colonial officials and white farmers.

Three now-elderly Kenyans had sued the British government seeking compensation for the abuse, which included sexual assault.



The government negotiated a settlement, after Britain's High Court ruled last October that the case could proceed.

The Mau Mau settlement could set a legal precedent. Across the former British Empire, Indians, Malaysians, Cypriots and Guyanese have filed similar cases seeking compensation for colonial-era abuse.

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