Calls are being made for the Finnish government to suspend a €9.5 million fund to the Kenya Forest Service because of escalating human rights abuses of the country’s indigenous Sengwer people.
17 January 2018: The European Union has suspended a multi-million euro project in the face of mounting evidence that its funds were being used to carry out violent human rights abuses.
41-year-old Robert Kirotich has today been shot by EU-funded guards working for the Kenya Forestry Service. Another wounded man, David Kipkosgei Kiptilkesi was taken away by the guards and his condition unknown.
Three independent experts appointed by the UN have expressed concerns about recent reports that indigenous Sengwer peoples in western Kenya have been attacked and forcibly evicted from their homes.
A powerful press conference was held this morning, 4 January 2018, in Nairobi, attended by over 20 press representatives and 26 Sengwer community members. Milka Chepkorir and Yator Kiptum spoke powerfully about the suffering their Sengwer community are experiencing at the hands of the Kenya Forest Service.
Nairobi, December 29, 2017 – In a remote region of Kenya this week, a government agency — flush with funds from the European Union—is sending armed security guards house to house
Community-based monitoring to evidence human rights violations and changes to the ecosystem was the focus of a workshop attended by indigenous peoples from six African countries.
Over four intense days, representatives from communities, conservation, human rights and government engaged in a Global Dialogue on Human Rights and Biodiversity Conservation.
More than 22 times now, our community has been forcefully evicted from our ancestral land in Embobut forest, Cherangany Hills, by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), a government agency that is supposed to be responsible for the protection of forests in the country.
Around 5 per cent of the world’s population are indigenous, and every day huge numbers of indigenous people risk their life in protection of their ancestral lands.
According to Global Witness’ Defenders of the Earth 2017 report, nearly 40 per cent of the defenders who died in 2016 were indigenous.
There is increasing concern from local, national and international civil society about the human rights implications of the EU’s €31 million Water Tower Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Project (WaTER) that is focused on an area of Kenya with a history of deeply troubling human rights issues.
Milka Chepkorir Kuto is a human rights activist and member of the Sengwer indigenous people, who live in the the Embobut and Kabolet Forest, Kenya. For the last three years, Milka has been focusing on indigenous women and their role in defending land rights. In occasion of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, we have spoken to Milka about her work and the importance of including women in the struggle to retain ownership and control over their lands.
There is increasing concern from local, national and international civil society about the human rights implications of the EU’s €31 million Water Tower Protection and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Project (WaTER) that is focused on an area of Kenya with deeply troubling human rights issues.
Since the 1960s, the Sengwer peoples of western Kenya have been experiencing forced evictions from their home in the name of conservation. Since 2014, these evictions have intensified.
In a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Sengwer call [on the President] to "stop the continued arrests and evictions of our Sengwer forest indigenous peoples from our ancestral lands (our community land) in Kaptirpai, Koropkwen and Kapkok glades in Embobut forest. We want our rights to live in, govern, manage and own our ancestral lands in the glades of Embobut forest recognized, secured, respected and protected in law, working hand in hand with state agencies to ensure effective and efficient conservation and protection of forests, water, wildlife and other natural resources therein".
How the National Constitution treats minorities is a good test of a nation’s maturity. How government applies their rules is a good test of the state’s maturity.
The Sengwer community at Embobut has been dispersed, with most still living in their forests and glades high in the Cherangany Hills despite the evictions by the Government’s Kenya Forest Service (KFS). There they hide from the forest guards’ harassment, from having their now makeshift and temporary homes burnt and basic household property destroyed, as well as from being threatened with arrest despite the existence of a High Court injunction forbidding such harassment and evictions.
The burnings of Sengwer homes by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) resumed last week while at the same time, the Sengwer are expected to sit down tomorrow to discuss constructive ways forward with the same Government whose agencies burn their homes. This is intolerable to the Sengwer who are calling for an urgent meeting today with the organisers of tomorrow's International Colloquium - the World Bank and the Government of Kenya - so that such harassment can be stopped permanently before the talks begin.