OGIEK LEADER RECEIVES DEATH
13 February 2008
A leader of the indigenous Ogiek nation in Kenya has received a
death threat by telephone. An unknown caller told Mr Mpoiok Kobei,
'We need your head before Tuesday nineteenth, this month.'
Around a thousand people are thought to have died in Kenya in
violence that followed disputed poll results six weeks ago, and
more than 600,000 have been forced to flee their homes.
Hundreds of Ogiek families have been caught up in the violence and
are among the displaced people. Several young Ogiek have been shot,
Ogiek homes have been burned down, and there have been allegations
of rape of Ogiek women by police.
The Ogiek are one of the few remaining hunter-gatherer peoples in
East Africa. They live in the Mau mountain forest, overlooking the
Rift Valley. They gather honey from beehives which they make from
hollow logs and place in the high branches of the forest trees.
The Ogiek have been struggling for many years to resist eviction
from their forest, and to protect it from settlers, loggers and
The anonymous phonecall was received at 17h15 has been traced to
number +254-51-61484, which is a public phone booth in Njoro. A
police report has been made, but nobody has been arrested yet.