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Militant Kikuyu-led nationalist movement of the 1950s in Kenya. The Mau Mau (the name's origin is uncertain) advocated violent resistance to British domination in Kenya. In response to actions by Mau Mau rebels, the British Kenya government banned the movement in 1950 and launched a series of military operations between 1952 and 1956. Some 11,000 Kikuyu, 100 Europeans, and 2,000 African loyalists were killed in the fighting; another 20,000 Kikuyu were put into detention camps. Despite their losses, Kikuyu resistance spearheaded the independence movement, and Jomo Kenyatta, jailed as a Mau Mau leader in 1953, became prime minister of independent Kenya in 1963. In 2003 the ban on the Mau Mau was lifted.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Mau Mau, visit Britannica.com.
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