Kenya has lifted a ban on the country's Mau Mau independence movement.

Kenya National Security Minister Chris Murungaru said Sunday it was time to recognize Kenyans who had helped the country become independent.

The legislation outlawing the Mau Mau was enacted in 1950 after Mau Mau fighters stepped up attacks against white settlers.

Kenya gained independence from British colonial rule in 1963. The decision on the Mau Mau comes in advance of Kenya's celebration in December of 40 years of independence.

Lifting the ban could open the way for Mau Mau fighters to demand compensation from the British government. They claim they were mistreated and tortured by the British during Kenya's fight for independence.