Ogiek Community fault government over failure to implement Arusha Landmark ruling

The Ogiek Community has differed with the ongoing process by a multi-agency team to resolve the Eastern Mau land dispute that has led to evictions and ethnic clashes.

The minority community now says the multi-agency team has continued to go about their duties without involving them as indigenous community of the area.

Addressing the media in Nakuru on Wednesday, the Ogiek Community through their Council of Elders say they have had harsh times for the last over 20 years in seeking justice for their land.

They are pointing an accusing finger at the government of Kenya for delaying the implementation of the Arusha Landmark ruling of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights.

On 26 May 2017 in Arusha, the court ruled in favor of the Ogiek indigenous peoples in their claim against the Kenyan government, for consistent violations and denial of their land rights.

The Ogiek Community through Council of Elders Chair John Sironga have opposed the government’s move to have them get 5 acres of alternative land each saying it is a violation of the Arusha Landmark ruling concerning their community land.

“As a community, we are opposed to what the government is doing. Let them involve us and ensure they act as per the Arusha Landmark ruling” said Sironga.

According to Elder Sironga, the Ogiek Community that has 22 clans will not take it easy if the government will continue to violate the Arusha Landmark ruling.

They have vowed to stage a major demonstration from Mau East to the statehouse to demand implementation of the Arusha Landmark ruling.

“We will not allow what the government is doing to us as a community. President Uhuru Kenyatta must implement the Arusha Landmark ruling or else we shall demonstrate to the statehouse over the same” said Sironga.

Sentiments echoed by Ogiek Council of Elders Vice Chair Martin Lele who said the program being done by the government in Mariashoni and Nessuit areas is a violation of their rights.

According to Lele, the program should now be stopped until their involvement as a community is considered.

“The ongoing program is against the court ruling and should be stopped. As a community we need to be involved fully” said Lele.

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