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Ogiek want African court ruling on Mau enforced

Friday November 16 2018

Members of the Ogiek community

Members of the Ogiek community during a past function. The Ogiek community has accused the government of foot-dragging in putting into effect a landmark ruling by the African Court on Human and People's Rights in Arusha, Tanzania on their eviction from Mau Forest. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ERIC MATARA
By ERIC MATARA
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The Ogiek community has accused the government of foot-dragging in putting into effect a landmark ruling by the African Court on Human and People's Rights in Arusha, Tanzania on their eviction from Mau Forest, one year after judgement was issued.

The community led by its council of elders chairman, Mr Joseph Towett, said on Wednesday that the government had failed to implement the judgment that was issued in May 2017.

The Ogiek say that, despite the government on November 10, 2017 gazetting a task force to implement the judgment, nothing has been done and the community continues to suffer in silence due to historical injustices.

NOT CONSULTED

In its findings last year, the court said the Ogiek were not consulted on evictions from their ancestral lands in the Mau Forest.

After a five-year legal battle, the court ruled that the government had violated the community’s rights and freedoms and directed it to remedy all the violations.

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In a surprise move, Environment CS Keriako Tobiko last week, once again, gazetted the names of the task force, which the community says they do not trust to implement the judgement.

“We are calling upon President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Chief Justice David Maraga to intervene and involve the Ministry of Lands. Our grievance was over land but it has now been left to the Ministry of Environment,” Mr Towett told Nation.

The community threatened to go back to court for review if the ruling is not implemented by the end of the year.