The Ogiek are one of the last groups of hunter gatherers in Kenya. Their ancestral land is in the Mau Forest in the Rift Valley of Kenya. For many years, the Kenyan government has threatened them with eviction, in the name of conservation. Last week, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights ruled that the Ogiek have the right to live in the Mau Forest and that the government of Kenya was wrong to evict them.
“This is an extremely positive outcome. It sends a very clear message to the government of Kenya, but also to other governments in Africa, that they must respect the rights of their indigenous communities, and that includes their land rights.”