Kenyan authorities continue to evict Ogiek, defying court orders and escalating violence
Despite the Ogiek obtaining interim court orders in both the Narok and Nakuru Law Courts, on 9 and 23 November respectively, for the Government of Kenya to stop its evictions of the Ogiek in the Mau Forest, authorities are continuing their illegal activities and increasing their violent tactics.
According to our partners, the Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program (OPDP), as of 29 November evictions have actually intensified since the last court order, with authorities becoming more hostile and committing various human rights violations.
IWGIA strongly condemns the actions of the Government of Kenya and the dangerous precedent it is setting for holding itself above the law on this and other numerous occasions against the Ogiek and other Indigenous Peoples in the country.
We call on authorities to respect their own national and international legally binding instruments, halt the eviction action, allow for any and all assistance to the displaced Ogiek people and provide for the rebuilding of their property on their ancestral lands.
Intimidation, theft, destruction by authorities
Most recently, 50 Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officers entered a community in Sasimwani, intimidated community members, stole food and forced some to perform degrading public acts. KFS officers are also creating an atmosphere of fear as they target Ogiek leaders and human rights defenders.
To add insult to injury, any humanitarian assistance to help the over 700 Ogiek who have been forcibly displaced for nearly a month in colder and wetter conditions has been destroyed or stolen by authorities. These include food supplies and protective tarpaulins for shelter.
KFS officers are also blocking roads and restricting access to the displaced, warning anyone that they should not be providing assistance.
In a further escalation, KFS officers have issued threats that if people do not leave the area their livestock will be slaughtered.
Over 700 Ogiek community members have been forcibly removed from their villages and lands since 2 November by KFS rangers and officers.
Ogiek community members and Kenya National Commission on Human Rights lawyers standing outside the Nakuru Law Courts. Photo courtesy of Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program (OPDP).