"Following WWII the British Government reduced its colonies due to rebuilding costs and a waning interest in costly overseas colonies. During this time there were approximately 30,000 white settlers living in Kenya with nearly 5 million Kikuyu and Maasai. Unrest had been building in this area long before the 1950s due to the Briton's perceived lack of interest in the well being of the native populations. Coupled with the recently implemented apartheid movement in South Africa, many natives felt this was the path down which Kenya was headed. By 1952 it was obvious to the British Government that there was great unrest among the Kikuyu population in Kenya. Similar to their posture in the Malayan Emergency, the British had been caught off guard and failed to recognize the scale of the threat Mau Mau posed. On 20 October 1952 a state of emergency was declared in Kenya. Throughout the following eight years several programs were implemented by the British to return the colony to a state of normalcy, including widespread detention, compulsory registration of Kikuyu, livestock seizure, taxes for the additional cost of the insurgency, re-education measures, the use of reformed Mau Mau and local troops to combat the insurgency, and eventually the capture and execution of Mau Mau leader Dedan Kimathi in 1956. The emergency would remain in effect, until 1960, however."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: http://www.nps.edu/Library/index.aspx