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 Political Developments and the Struggle for Independence in Kenya (1919-1963)

The course of the Mau Mau uprising.

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The course of the MAU MAU uprising.
-On May 1, 1949, six trade unions formed the East African Trades Union Congress (EATUC). The union leaders joined with the "Forty Group," which was a roughly cohesive group mostly composed of African ex-servicemen conscripted in 1940 when attempts for a union members strike failed on May 16th 1950.
-Different leaders led the Land and Freedom Armies. Three of the dominant Active Wing leaders were Stanley Mathenge; Waruhiu Itote (known as General China), leader of Mount Kenya wing; and Dedan Kimathi, leader of Aberdare forest wing. Others were General Ndung’u Gicheru, General Mwariama and General Matenjagwo (one
who never shaves). Other armies were in Nairobi, Kiambu, Fort Hall and Rift Valley. They were mostly equipped with spears, simis (short swords), kibokos (rhino hide whips) and pangas (machete). Some made their own guns while others employed armed robberies on police stations and isolated settler homes. On 1st of October 1952,
-Mau Mau assassinated a Nairobi councillor, Tom Mbotela, who was a government loyalist. In May 1953, the Kikuyu Home Guard became an official part of the security forces. It became the significant part of the anti-Mau Mau effort. In June 1953 General Sir George Erskine arrived and took up the post of Director of Operations. A military
-draft brought in 20,000 troops who were used aggressively. On April 24, 1954, the Army launched "Operation Anvil" in Nairobi, the forest fighters' source of supplies, money and recruits, and the city was put under military control. By the end of 1954 there were 77,000 Kikuyu in concentration camps mainly deported from Nairobi.


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