Political map of Sub-Saharan Africa 25 March 1953 (Mau Mau Uprising): By the early 1950s the failure of native attempts to extract political reforms from the white elites in the British colony of Kenya (Kenya African Union) prompted more militant Kenyan nationalists to launch the Mau Mau movement (Mau Mau Uprising). In a campaign of violence against both settlers and natives, the Mau Mau forced the British to declare a state of emergency but were unable to capture widespread support.