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Ogiek facing imminent eviction despite African Court’s judgment

Local authorities have informed the Ogiek community residing in the Maasai Mau Forest in southwestern Kenya that eviction orders have been processed for those in the Sasinwani and Nkareta regions, the Ogiek Peoples’ Development Programme (OPDP) reported on 26 October.

The orders have come with no preparation and no plans for relocation, restitution or reparations, leaving at least 500 Ogiek without a home.

The area chief claims he is acting on orders from his superiors and that there is no turning back.

These evictions are happening against the backdrop of the Kenyan Government not abiding by its legal obligations from an African Court for Human and Peoples’ Rights 23 June 2022 ruling in favor of the Ogiek. The African Court unanimously dismissed all objections from the Government of Kenya to the 2017 ruling and delivered a pioneering reparation judgment concerning the rights of the Ogiek Peoples to their ancestral land.

Efforts by the Ogiek Council of Elders to engage government officials in Nairobi, including with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, the Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde, the Narok County Governor Honorable Patrick Ole Ntutu, have led to no resolution. In fact, County Commissioner Masinde told the elders their only recourse would be to engage with the Kenyan President and the elders also learned that Narok County Governor Ntutu is refusing to meet with anyone regarding the evictions.

The Ogiek community is also trying to engage with the Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ), Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR).

IWGIA stands with the Ogiek community and it’s long-term partner OPDP and calls on Kenyan authorities to immediately stop these evictions and abide to its legal obligations as outlined in the African Court’s judgment for the Ogiek.

We encourage all our allies to do what they can to help the Ogiek from suffering an imminent humanitarian crisis.


>> For more details read OPDP’s full statement here


Article photo: Eviction of an Ogiek village in East Mau in 2020. Photo courtesy of OPDP

Tags: Land rights, Human rights



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