interesting article today on the BBC webiste regarding the 1950s Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya, currently in the news over here because some Kenyans are suing the UK government for compensation claiming they were tortured as the colonial authorities sought to put down the uprising.
The Mau Mau rebellion, of course, took place at about the same time as Cypriots were engaged in their own uprising against British colonial rule in favour of self-determination, which in the Cyprus case meant union with Greece; and it struck me that, although the scale and nature of British repression was much greater in Kenya than it was in Cyprus, the logic and tactics of the colonial authorities were similar.
Apart from the widespread use of hanging and torture in both the Kenyan and Cypriot cases, also notable was the willingness of the British to deploy collaborators from the local population to execute repressive colonial policy. In Kenya, the British created the African Home Guard, a militia that was armed, directed and rewarded by the colonial government; while, in Cyprus, the British recruited Turkish Cypriots to do their dirty work. Regarding Cyprus, the figures speak for themselves: of 1,770 Auxiliary Police and Special Constables recruited during the EOKA period, 1,700 were Turkish Cypriots and only 70 were Greek Cypriots. All 542 recruits in the Mobile Reserve were from the Turkish community; while the regular police consisted of 462 from the UK, 932 Greek Cypriots and 891 from the Turkish minority.