British King Charles III must offer an “unmistakable public apology” for the abuses committed during colonial rule, according to the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC). The statement was made on Sunday, just two days before the British monarch’s visit to Kenya.
Charles and his wife, Queen Camilla, are set to embark on a four-day trip to the East African nation, marking Charles’ first visit as king to a Commonwealth member.
The KHRC, a non-governmental organization, called on the king to issue an unconditional and clear public apology for the brutal treatment inflicted on Kenyan citizens during the colonial era, as opposed to the cautious and self-preserving statements of regret previously expressed.
Buckingham Palace stated that during the visit, Charles is expected to address the more painful aspects of the UK’s historic relationship with Kenya, including the period of the “Emergency” from 1952 to 1960 when colonial authorities suppressed the Mau Mau guerrilla campaign against European settlers. This crackdown resulted in the death of approximately 10,000 people, predominantly from the Kikuyu community. The palace revealed that Charles intends to use this opportunity to deepen his understanding of the suffering endured by the people of Kenya during that time.
The KHRC emphasized the need for the apology to encompass the entire colonial period from 1895 to 1963 and further urged President William Ruto to prioritize discussions on effective reparations for all affected groups in the country during his meetings with Charles.
It should be noted that in 2013, following a lengthy court case, Britain agreed to compensate over 5,000 Kenyans who had experienced abuse during the Mau Mau revolt, reaching a settlement worth nearly £20 million.
In addition to official engagements such as meeting entrepreneurs, young Kenyans, and attending a state banquet, Charles will also visit a newly established museum dedicated to Kenya’s history and pay tribute at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Uhuru Gardens, the site where independence was declared in December 1963.
The royal couple will then proceed to the coastal city of Mombasa, where they will tour a nature reserve and engage with religious representatives. This visit coincides with Kenya’s preparations to celebrate 60 years of independence from Britain.