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Violence escalates against the Sengwer of Embobut Forest, Kenya

Shortly after a visit from an EU delegation last week, Kenya Forest Service (KFS) guards based at Tangul, Kipsitono and Maron KFS camps carried out intensive evictions according to Sengwer witnesses, with KFS allegedly having since burnt down over 90 Sengwer homes and destroyed their property.

How can the EU WaTER Project help secure, not undermine, human rights in Kenya?

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.

Enough is Enough - Stop the continued arrests and evictions of Sengwer forest indigenous peoples from their ancestral lands in Embobut Forest

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".

Conserving injustice: The unnecessary ongoing eviction and displacement of Sengwer communities in Embobut

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.

La injusticia de la conservación: el desalojo y desplazamiento innecesarios en curso de comunidades Sengwer en Embobut

La comunidad Sengwer de Embobut ha sido dispersada, aunque la mayoría sigue viviendo en sus bosques y claros de la parte alta de las colinas de Cherangany a pesar de los desalojos efectuados por el Gobierno a través del Servicio Forestal de Kenia (KFS por sus siglas en inglés). Allí se esconden del acoso de los guardias forestales, de la quema de sus casas, ahora improvisadas y provisionales, y de la destrucción propiedades básicas que forman parte de sus hogares, así como de la amenaza de ser arrestados a pesar de la existencia de una orden judicial del Tribunal Superior que prohíbe dicho acoso y dichos desalojos.

Maintien des injustices : la poursuite d’expulsions inutiles et du déplacement des communautés sengwer d’Embobut

La communauté sengwer d’Embobut a été dispersée, et une bonne partie vit encore dans ses forêts et clairières sur les hauteurs des montagnes de Cherangany Hills, malgré les expulsions du Service forestier du gouvernement du Kenya (KFS). Ses membres s’y cachent face au harcèlement des gardes forestiers, aux incendies des maisons temporaires qui sont devenues les leurs, et à la destruction des biens essentiels des ménages, ainsi que face à la menace d'arrestations, en dépit de l'existence d'une injonction de la Cour suprême interdisant ce harcèlement et ces expulsions.

Melestarikan ketidakadilan: Penggusuran dan pengusiran tanpa henti terhadap komunitas Sengwer di Embobut saat ini yang seharusnya tidak perlu dilakukan

Komunitas Sengwer di Embobut telah tercerai-berai, dengan sebagian besar masih tinggal di hutan-hutan mereka juga di kawasan terbuka dalam hutan di puncak Cherangany Hills meskipun telah digusur oleh Dinas Kehutanan Pemerintah Kenya (KFS). Di sana mereka menyelamatkan diri dari penganiayaan para penjaga hutan, dari pembakaran tempat huni darurat dan dari penghancuran barang-barang pokok rumah tangga mereka, serta dari ancaman penangkapan meskipun ada perintah Pengadilan Tinggi yang melarang penganiayaan dan penggusuran tersebut.

Kenyan Government’s forced evictions threaten cultural survival of the Sengwer

The lead article in the last FPP E-Newsletter focused on the superb progress the Ogiek of Chepkitale, Mount Elgon, Kenya, have made in their efforts to secure their forests and livelihoods by writing down their sustainability bylaws and embarking on the process of enforcing them. This process has resulted in their arresting charcoal burners, and the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has now begun to restrict some of the charcoal burners’, as well as encroaching agriculturalist activities that were leading to the destruction of the indigenous forest. 

Desalojos forzosos del Gobierno de Kenia amenazan la supervivencia cultural de los Sengwer

El artículo principal del último E-Boletín del FPP se centró en el extraordinario progreso hecho por  los Ogiek de Chepkitale, Monte Elgon, Kenia,  en sus esfuerzos por asegurar sus bosques y sus medios de vida poniendo por escrito sus estatutos de sostenibilidad y embarcándose en un proceso para que sean respetados. Este proceso ha llevado al arresto de carboneros y el Servicio Forestal de Kenia (KFS por sus siglas en inglés) ha empezado a restringir la quema de carbón y las actividades agrícolas intrusivas que estaban llevando a la destrucción del bosque indígena.

Les expulsions forcées du gouvernement kenyan menacent la survie culturelle des Sengwer

L’article central du dernier bulletin d’information du FPP se penchait sur les magnifiques avancées de la communauté Ogiek de Chepkitale, établie sur le Mont Elgon au Kenya, suite aux efforts fournis pour préserver ses forêts et ses moyens de subsistance  en documentant pour la première fois ses règles coutumières ainsi qu’en se lançant dans le processus de mise en application de ces règles. Ce mécanisme a entraîné l’arrestation des charbonniers. Aussi, le service des forêts du Kenya (KFS- Kenya Forest Service) a désormais commencé à limiter le recours à certains charbonniers, ainsi que les activités agricoles qui empiétaient sur les terres, et conduisaient à la destruction des forêts autochtones.

Penggusuran paksa oleh pemerintah Kenya mengancam kelangsungan budaya masyarakat Sengwer

Artikel utama dalam Lembar Berita Elektronik FPP yang lalu berfokus pada kemajuan luar biasa yang dicapai masyarakat Ogiek dari Chepkitale, Gunung Elgon, Kenya, dalam upaya mereka untuk mengamankan hutan dan mata pencaharian mereka dengan menuliskan aturan-aturan keberlanjutan mereka dan memulai proses untuk memberlakukannya. Proses ini telah menghasilkan penangkapan para pembakar arang, dan Dinas Kehutanan Kenya (KFS) kini telah mulai membatasi aktivitas sebagian pembakar arang, serta aktivitas perambahan yang dilakukan para petani yang menimbulkan pengrusakan hutan adat.

Kenya defies its own courts: torching homes and forcefully evicting the Sengwer from their ancestral lands, threatening their cultural survival

Click here to sign the Avaaz petition to put pressure on the World Bank to use their leverage over the Kenyan government to halt these illegal evictions.

The Kenyan government has sent Kenya Forest Service (KFS) guards, with police support, to Embobut Forest in the Cherangany Hills to forcibly and illegally evict thousands of Sengwer indigenous people from their ancestral forest lands and burn their homes and belongings to the ground. 

Kenyan Government torches hundreds of Sengwer homes in the forest glades in Embobut

The forcible eviction of the Sengwer communities from their ancestral lands began this last week, despite the interim injunction granted in the High Court at Eldoret against any such evictions, and despite the national and international Appeal against such unlawful action. For the latest update see below, and for the background to this see the section below that. Update: 

Urgent appeal against the forced eviction of Sengwer communities in Kenya

We are deeply concerned by the forced evictions of the 6,000-7,000 Sengwer indigenous people and other communities in Embobut Forest in the Cherangany Hills (Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya).

For many years the Government has been trying to move the indigenous inhabitants of Embobut off their land by burning their homes. They have done this in the name of a fortress conservation approach which seeks to remove local people from their lands. As IUCN and all pre-eminent conservation organisations now acknowledge, such an approach only ever makes the environmental situation worse, and adds a human rights disaster to the environmental crisis. The new President has taken what at first appeared to be a new approach: he came in November and promised them a small amount of money to move, however now that it is clear people are refusing to move, this is being followed up with this threat of imminent eviction.