Armed guards from the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) have been burning the homes of the Ogiek in order to forcibly evict them from their lands in west Kenya.
They began burning the homes on Monday, June 20, and many of the families are now living in the open, without protection, during an extremely rainy season.
The report reads:
"On Monday, June 20, armed guards of the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) began burning the homes of Ogiek living on their ancestral lands around Kapsang and Etapei in the forests of Chepkitale, Mt Elgon.
Who is committing this violation of rights under the constitution, and why?
The County Commissioner?
Some media reported that the Bungoma county commissioner Joshua Chepchieng, denied knowledge of the ongoing evictions (Standard newspaper, June 21 ).
The current county commissioner’s predecessor, Maalim Mohamed, convened a meeting on March 24 because he had been told that there had been a lot of destruction of the forest. However, he quickly discovered that the situation was the opposite of what he had been made to believe: the Ogiek community are taking care of their forest, and he congratulated them for doing so."
The full report is available here.