King Charles addressed the "abhorrent and unjustifiable acts of violence" that took place during Kenya's struggle for independence from British colonial rule. Speaking at a banquet in his honor, the King expressed his "greatest sorrow" and "deepest regret" for the wrongdoings of the past, acknowledging the pain caused by Britain's violent suppression of Kenya's battle for self-rule.
Although the speech fell short of an explicit apology, Kenya's President, William Ruto, commended King Charles for shedding light on the "uncomfortable truths" of colonialism. He also urged further action to achieve full reparations for the atrocities committed. The Kenya Human Rights Commission had previously called for an unequivocal public apology from the King.
Kenya's struggle for independence, known as the Mau Mau rebellion, was marked by violent attacks on both white farmers and members of the Kikuyu tribe who were accused of collaborating with the colonial authorities. The commission estimates that 90,000 Kenyans were executed, tortured, or maimed during this period.
During their state visit, King Charles and Queen paid tribute to Kenya's fallen heroes at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior and toured the Mashujaa Museum, which documents the country's national story, including the fight for independence and recent terrorist attacks. The British government had previously expressed regret for the human rights abuses committed during the colonial administration and made financial reparations to affected Kenyans in 2013.
While King Charles stopped short of issuing an apology, his recognition of the past wrongdoings and commitment to deepening his understanding of Kenya's history was seen by many as a positive step towards acknowledging the dark legacy of colonialism. The question of full reparations, however, remains a pressing issue that requires further attention.