A memorial has been unveiled in Kenya that pays tribute to victims of torture and ill-treatment during the emergency period of British rule.

The memorial, backed by Britain, was officially inaugurated Saturday in a ceremony before thousands of people, including veterans of the "Mau Mau" rebellion.

Several thousand now-elderly Kenyans say they were beaten and sexually assaulted by officers of the British administration trying to suppress the Mau Mau rebellion, when groups of Kenyans attacked British officials and white farmers who had occupied some of Kenya's most fertile lands.

The British High Commission said in a statement that the memorial was built as part of an out-of-court agreement reached between the British government and some Mau Mau veterans in 2013.

It said the memorial stands as a symbol of reconciliation.