SENGWER SUFFER FROM POLICE AND
The Sengwer people in Kenya suffer at the merciless hands of
cattle raiders as well as from the atrocities and heavy shelling
of the area caused by undisciplined security forces.
North Rift / Kenya - WTN - 16. Feb. 2008 - THE SENGWER, one of the
indigenous peoples of Kenya and as such recently recognized by the
Kenya Government, requested today help to petition the Government
of Kenya – Ministry of Provincial Administration and National
Security - to order the security forces operating in the North
Rift Valley and especially in Trans Nzoia East District to not use
heavy ammunitions when pursuing cattle rustlers while they are
still within peoples' homesteads.
Yesterday in the morning over 100 armed cattle rustlers attacked
Kapolet and Kapsara sub-locations in Makutano location, Kaplamai
division in Trans Nzoia District in the North Rift Valley Province.
The rustlers went with about 100 heads of cattle and unknown
number of sheep and donkeys – the security personnel fought them
and managed to recover 5 cows and over 40 sheep. Three people were
shot dead – the raiders shot dead 1 person of Sengwer and 1 of
Kikuyu ethnicity; while the police shot and killed 1 raider.
But the biggest problem is that the security personnel shoot
aimlessly with heavy ammunitions as one can see in the pictures
Some explosives hit the ground just 10 meters from Sengwer homes.
The explosives landed near at least three Sengwer families’ houses
and another about 100 meters away from the Sengwer Cultural
Centre. This is the third time the security officers fire the
ammunitions at random and also hit Sengwer homesteads. It is
presumed that the hasty recruitment of new security personnel to
beef up government security and their untrained state contributes
to the problem.
One rocket propelled grenade landed near Mr Laima's house, a
Sengwer elder, and luckily it didn’t explode. Until now the
officers have not made any attempt to retrieve, secure or destroy
it. This poses another big risk. It can explode any time and cause
a lot of harm and damage.
The Sengwer families living in Kapolet forest are living in
constant fear – from the raiders as well as from the security
Furthermore, this unit of heavily armed security forces broke into
three Sengwer houses. They locked two Sengwer men into a house and
wanted to set the house on fire ‘burning the two alive in the
house’ – only after other police intervened these murderous
officers were stopped.
Today ten more people were killed in the same area and it is not
clear if these were raiders or innocent people.
Because of these uncontrolled actions by the police over 500
Sengwer families have fled now their homes in Kapolet forest and
also Amani primary school in Kapolet had to be closed.
The four local Administration Police officers, stationed usually
at Kapolice AP Post, have run away, hence there’s no security at
Kapolet at the moment.
The Sengwer therefore demand:
1. adequate security personnel should be based at Kapolet
2. security officers and community leaders in Trans Nzoia,
West Pokot and Pokot North districts should work together to end
3. land questions dating back to 1895 should be addressed
through enactment of national land policy
4. a new constitution that will recognize ancestral land
rights should be adopted
5. security personnel should avoid use of bombs, grenades
and anti-personnel’s on or around homesteads
6. Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service and Sengwer
Indigenous Peoples should work together to find away of converting
Kapolet, Kapkanyar and Kipteeper Indigenous Forests into a game