On 2 April 2017, Kenya Forest Service guards violently attacked Elias Kimaiyo, a Sengwer community leader. The Forest Guards were burning houses belonging to the Sengwer. Kimaiyo was taking photographs.
The following day, Kimaiyo told Amnesty International what happened, from his hospital bed:
“I was taking pictures of Kenya Forest Service Guards who were burning houses of the Sengwer in Embobut forest. I counted 29 burnt houses.
“The guards started shooting at me. I ran, but tripped and fell, breaking my kneecap, and they caught up with me. They hit me with the butt of a rifle, and broke my arm. They took two cameras and an iPad from me.”
The Kenya Forest Service has been violently evicting the Sengwer from their forest for many years. But the violence is intensifying. Forest Peoples Programme reports that “the Sengwer are shocked that KFS guards are now shooting with live bullets”. According to FPP, the Sengwer report that in total 90 homes were burned down.