Archive 2004

The latest news articles are available on our News page. To receive the latest news and press releases about the Ogiek's struggle to retain their rights by e-mail, contact us using our Web form or send an e-mail to africanode(at)

Moi, Mama Ngina in Ndung'u land report                                                                                          (December 17, 2004) The families of former presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi feature prominently in the list of those who have grabbed public land that is now recommended for repossession.

Govt revokes land allocations at Rift Valley's controversial Likia settlement                                         (Publication Date: 12/15/2004)  Nation-FM-Radio - The Government has revoked land allocations at Rift Valley's controversial Likia settlement Scheme. The scheme was rocked by violent clashes two months ago. Close to 1,600 acres will revert to forest land and 471 deeds will be cancelled.

‘It’s a massive cover-up’                                                                                                                 EAST AFRICAN STANDARD (12. Dec. 2004) The Government was yesterday accused of a massive cover up moments after the controversial Ndung’u Land Report was released. A commissioner with the team that probed illegal and irregular allocation of land launched a vitriolic attack on the Government and urged it to come clean.

Big names shocker in land-grab report                                                                                             (11 Dec. 2004) DAILY NATION - The much-awaited Paul Ndung’u report on illegal allocation of public land was released yesterday – but without many of the big names that featured during the commission's public hearings.

Emergency - Ogiek Land Grabbed - In Nkareta - Narok District                                                          Press Release - (10th Dec 2004) The Ogiek of Nkareta Location are crying for help after their land was grabbed recently by former powerful government individuals who liaise with the provincial administration.

Prof.Wangari Maathai wins PEACE NOBEL PRICE!                                                                         Prof. Wangari Maathai, the outspoken environmentalist from Kenya, has been awarded as the first African woman with the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE !

No United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?                                          (December 10, 2004) For twenty years, Indigenous Peoples and their support organisations have been pressuring the United Nations to adopt a declaration for the protection of the rights of the world’s Indigenous Peoples. It is feared that – due to blocking attempts most notably by the UK and the USA - the UN will now stop this process and leave Indigenous Peoples’ rights unrecognized.

Graft: Kenya still among the worst                                                                                                  DAILY NATION 10.12.2004 - Parliament and political parties are ranked by Kenyans as some of the most corrupt institutions, a new report by Transparency International reveals.

OGIEK ADDRESS DUTCH PARLIAMENT                                                                                       Netherlands, 10 December 2004 - In a historic event at the Hague on 8 December, the Ogiek of Kenya and the San peoples of Botswana among others adresssed the Dutch Parliament on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, more specifically on the Dutch foreign policy on Indigenous Peoples of Africa.

Ogiek villagers under pressure to leave homes                                                                                 December 8, 2004 - In the village of Kiptilian members of the Ogiek are being pressed to leave their houses by Silvester Ntutu, brother of the member of the Kenyan parliament Ole Ntutu.

Africa 'makes excuses on climate'                                                                                                  (November 30, 2004) By Alex Kirby - BBC News - Wangari Maathai, who won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, says African governments should do more about climate change.Professor Maathai, also Kenya's deputy environment minister, was speaking to African journalists at the United Nations Environment Programme HQ here.

HUNGER STRIKE BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' REPRESENTATIVES AT THE UNITED NATIONS! Today, November 29th, 2004, at 11 am, we, Indigenous Peoples' delegates, declare a hunger strike and spiritual fast inside the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva, during this 3rd week of the 10th session of the Intersessional Working Group on the United Nations Draft Declaration for the Rights on Indigenous Peoples.

Elephants At Risk, Activist Warns KWS                                                                                          (November 2, 2004) An activist yesterday asked the Kenya Wildlife Service to control the killings of elephants.

Fourteen Characteristics of Fascism                                                                                               Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist, wrote an article about fascism which appeared in Free Inquiry magazine -- a journal of humanist thought. Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile). He found the regimes all had 14 things in common, and he calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro - soon no more!                                                                                        we urge you to read the following notes by Chief Oren Lyons - "The Ice Is Melting" by Oren Lyons - Twenty-Fourth Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures - October 2004, Stockbridge, Massachusetts - Edited by Hildegarde Hannum

THIS IS THE LAST ADJOURNMENT, COURT WARNS AS AN APPLICATION IS DISMISSED             By Kimaiyo Towett, Nairobi, Monday Oct. 25, 2004 - The High court in Nairobi, has dismissed with costs a formal application to have individuals who dubiously acquired land in Mau forest and other areas enjoined in a highly contested Environmental suit which took place for the 3rd time in Nairobi, Yesterday.

Ogiek Professionals to view for Parliamentarians Seats 2007 Election                                                The Ogiek comunity have declared their interest for parlimentary seats in general Elections comes 2007. During a two days meeting organised by Ogiek Rural Integral Project in Nakuru town which ended on friday 15th, their leaders led by lawyer Charles Saina Sena ( Ex-Dir. Ogiek Rural Integral Project) and Auditor Daniel Kobei (chairman- Ogiek Peoples Development Program) and Lecturer Dr. Johnson Changeiwo (Ex-Dir. Chepkitale Indigenous People) demanded the release of Ndungu report be made public by the government sooner than later.

Loved by Laureate, Kenya's Forests Are Vanishing Fast                                                                   (October 18, 2004) NAIROBI, Kenya - Championed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Kenyan forests that once sheltered guerrillas fighting British colonialists are a battleground in a modern-day struggle against environmental devastation.

Kenya Government Torturing Sengwer indigenous community                                                            - (October 2004) Dear all, It is my hope that one day Sengwer (also referred to as Cherangany or Dorobo) will find peace and live as other Nations that make Kenya a country.

Case of a prophet rejected at home                                                                                                 (09. 10. 2004) Prof Wangari Maathai may be a world famous forest conservationist but back at home, she has her own opponents. It is something akin to the biblical saying that a prophet is never accepted in his home.

Churches And MPs Named in Land Deals                                                                                       (October 8, 2004) Churches and foreign embassies as well as politicians and civil servants are named in the Ndung'u report as having received and sold public land. They include many of the mainstream churches like the Catholics and Anglicans as well as smaller religious groups.

African countries urged to say no to GMOs                                                                                      Kumasi (Ashanti Region – Gh) - 8 October 2004 - Participants at an international workshop on ecofarming have called on African countries to say no to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) that destroy livelihoods and biodiversity on the continent.

West must act over Africa - Geldof                                                                                                  (October 7, 2004) The West cannot continue doing nothing about poverty in Africa, Bob Geldof said. The former pop star, a member of the African Commission of Ethiopia, said we need to analyse why Africa is the sole continent in economic decline.

Why report on land is withheld                                                                                                        (October 6, 2004) How serious is the Government in seeing the process of enacting a National Land Policy through? - We started the process because we were serious on it. It is something we had stated in the Narc manifesto and we are basically bringing into fruition what we have been yearning for before we got into government. We believe that a comprehensive policy is the only way of engendering sound land management.

Big step towards new land laws                                                                                                      (October 6, 2004) DAILY NEWS - For the first time in Kenya's history, the Government has started a process that might finally settle the "land question." It goes beyond all previous attempts, most of which have at best, amounted to "fire-fighting" commissions established to investigate critical developments in the land sector.

Grim future as forests are stripped                                                                                                  (October 5, 2004) DAILY NATION - Experts have warned that Kenya's economy faces a grim future, unless urgent measures are taken to halt the destruction of the 360,000-hectare Mau Forests Complex. Already, some of the rivers running from the complex have either dried up or become seasonal due to the destruction of tree cover and settlement.

Destruction of Mau Forest Complex Threatens Kenya's Entire Economy                                            (October 4, 2004) THE GRABBING of more than a quarter of the 360,000-hectare Mau Forest complex where wanton felling of trees has been going on for years as illegal settlers occupy the land and burn thousands of tonnes of charcoal, poses a major threat to Kenya's economy.

Explain Policy on Forests                                                                                                              Environment Assistant Minister Wangari Maathai is not given to melodrama, and so when she declares in public that she would rather lose her parliamentary seat than sit back and watch as forests are turned into farmland under the so-called shamba system, Kenyans should take notice.

"Indigenous Peoples Among Earth`s Poorest"                                                                                  (September 24, 2004) Respect for cultures needed in development, World Bank Head Says - WASHINGTON - "Indigenous people account for some of the poorest and most excluded populations on the planet," World Bank President James Wolfensohn says. Speaking September 23 at a World Bank forum on trends in development involving indigenous peoples, Wolfensohn said the bank recognizes that respect for different cultures is integral to development efforts.

A Glimmer of Hope for the Ogiek                                                                                                     NAIROBI, Sep 15 (IPS) - It's probably fair to say that the plight of the Ogiek receives little attention on a continent with more than its share of political and economic crises. The Ogiek are "one of the few remaining hunter-gatherer peoples of East Africa" according to Survival International - a British-based organisation that fights for the rights of indigenous communities.

Kimunya: Internally displaced opportunists                                                                                      (September 12, 2004) Lands and Housing minister Amos Kimunya does not have very good news for those displaced by ethnic clashes. "The Government does not have any land to give," the minister said categorically. "We have no land for re-distribution".

Draft Biosafty Bill Will not Protect Kenya from the Risks of GMOS                                                    (Thursday 2nd September 2004) Biosafety bill endangers Kenya - Media release - Kenya's draft Bill on Biosafety is flawed, and does not do enough to protect Kenyan agriculture, people and environment from the potential risks of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), said a coalition of farmers groups, environmentalists, and development NGOs today.

Forests destroyed by tea factories                                                                                                  (August 31, 2004) The wanton destruction of forests by some tea factory operators in Mathioya, Othaya and Kangema divisions is very saddening.

GENOCIDE OF THE HAIDA                                                                                                           INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY: Genocide It Is by Marty Logan - MONTREAL, Aug 9 (IPS) - When the Belgian Defence Ministry earlier this year blamed North America for the world's worst ever genocide over its killing of millions of indigenous peoples, outrage at the claim spotlighted a topic that rarely enters the public realm but has long been accepted by many
native Americans and their supporters.


Elephants ruthlessly killed by crazy Rangers and trigger-happy Police                                               (August 2004) According to eye-witness reports, these elephants couldn't return to their habitat in the Aberdare forests, because they were hindered by the partial electric fence, which stands erected in their traditional return-route.

How the UN has failed in its mission                                                                                               (July 25, 2004)
Here’s a quick pop quiz. What do right wing ideologues in the United States have in common with the filth in Nairobi’s garbage dumps? At first glance, there is nothing that obviously ties them together, but closer inspection turns up the one thing they share. They may both be harbingers of the death of the United Nations.

Grants Facility for Indigenous Peoples: Awards 2004                                                                        In fiscal year 2004 (June 2003 – July 2004), the Grants Facility awarded 19 grants from 14 countries to organizations working with and supporting Indigenous Peoples.

Local Communities Seen as Key Allies in Forest Conservation                                                          WASHINGTON, DC, July 23, 2004 (ENS) - The international community should provide indigenous people with financial incentives to encourage conservation of the world's tropical forests, advises a new report by Forest Trends, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC that advocates market approaches to conserving forests outside of protected areas.

TINET SETTLEMENT SCHEME - PROGRESS OF BIAS, CORRUPTION, VIOLENCE AND DISPLACEMENT OF GENUINE OGIEK (July 21, 2004) This is kindly to bring the above subject to your attention, that has made the genuine Ogiek as squatters in all areas inhabited by them. Since the NARC took over the power, President Kibaki has been on the forefront to condemn corruption. In his both speeches when being sworn in and opening the ninth parliament, he urge all Kenyans to assist in fighting and condemning corruption.

GENOCIDE AGAINST THE CHEPKITALE OGIEK CONTINUES                                                         (12. July 2004) Mt. Elgon / Kenya - Mr. Masai Ndiwa Sangula was brutally killed on 17^th May 2004 and that confirms the fear and continued genocide against Chepkitale Ogiek. A well-armed militia group came and pulled Mr. Sangula out of his sleep and shot him using a gun at a very close range.

FIRST OGIEK EXHIBITION - A GREAT SUCCESS                                                                           The historic event of a first Ogiek exhibition ended at the Nakuru Agricultural Show last Sunday and was a great success. The Ogiek Peoples Development Program through its Centre for Endangered Languages project facilitated the event from 12th-17th July 2004.

"Space for the embattled"                                                                                                               (July 12, 2004) Minority communities need a respite from attack to be able to challenge their own dupes and demagogues -- The American Directory of Certified Uncle Toms, published by the self-appointed Council on Black Internal Affairs after the Million Man March, describes itself as "a review of the history, antics and attitudes of handkerchief heads, Aunt Jemimas, head negroes in charge and house negroes against the freedom of the black race".

Congo, Democratic Republic: Pygmies stand up to World Bank logging development                          WRM bulletin July 2004 - Together with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Bank is supporting the development of comprehensive new forestry laws in the Congo, as well as the 'zoning' of the country's entire forest area which would imply the logging of some 60 million hectares of tropical forest. More than 100 environment, development and human rights groups had challenged in February of this year those projects (see WRM Bulletin Nº 80).

Pan African Paper Mills spread sickness                                                                                         WRM bulletin - Issue Number 83 - June 2004 - Pulp and paper production in Kenya is presently dominated by one firm, Pan African Paper Mills (Panpaper), which is a joint venture between the Kenyan Government, the World Bank’s private investment arm International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Orient Paper Mills, part of the Birhla group from India.

One killed in fight for traditional forest of Maasai, implicating controversial IUCN project with EU funding. Govt urged to resolve fate of Shs200m project - THE PEOPLE DAILY (June 19, 2004) The government has been urged to step in and solve the controversy surrounding a Shs200 million project in purko Naimina-Enkinyo Forest in Narok district.

Forest policy to impoverish 60,000 families                                                                                      (June 17, 2004) The termination of the forests' non-resident-cultivation programme, popularly known as the shamba system, will make more than 60,000 squatter families destitute. It is also going to cost the government an extra Sh720 million to establish 30,000 hectares of tree plantations.

US names Kenya in slavery report                                                                                                  (June 16, 2004) Kenya has been placed on an international watchlist as a transit point for women and children smuggled from other African countries as sex slaves. A report by the United States Government says Kenya is "country of origin, destination, and transit point" of people smuggled across borders for sexual exploitation and forced labour.

Please don’t die; we have no more trees for coffins                                                                           (June 13, 2004) The French actor Jean Reno in the romantic comedy /Roseanna's Grave/ (1997), is married to this beautiful woman who has been diagnosed with a weak heart and has only a few weeks to live.

State to plant trees on 30,000 hectares                                                                                           (June 10, 2004) Some Sh20 million has been set aside to hire people to plant trees in Government forests. The forestry department intends to plant trees on 30,000 hectares in 10 years. Mr Mbugua said the department last year planted seedlings on 9,000 hectares, up from 4,000 hectares in 2002.

SPECIAL REPORT - New bid for stiffer laws on ivory sale                                                                 (June 9, 2004) Fifteen years since ivory trade was banned, debate on whether or not it should be lifted goes on unabated. Before the ban, Africa's elephant population had decreased from 1.2 million to about 600,000.

Factional bickering within NARC is hurting the country                                                                      (June 08, 2004) Statement of the Kenyan Community Abroad -- There is no doubt in our minds as Kenyans that the factional discord  within the ruling NARC coalition has reached its acme, unfortunately at the expense of the entire country's well-being.

OGIEK AT WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY ON 8TH JUNE 2004                                                         The World Environment day was observed in Mau forest and was part of the KTN news yesterday, which was broadcasted countrywide. Participants on the ground and the viewers of the TV news footage could observe even some Ogiek hunters harvesting honey in the forest to celebrate.

Cheap Party Politics scatter serious talks on Forest Law                                                                  (June 3-5, 2004) The conflict between the main affiliates of the National Rainbow Coalition –LDP and NAK- took a new face yesterday when Liberal Democratic Party back-benchers and some Ford Kenya MPs joined hands with the opposition Kanu to reject a Government Bill. The Narc back-benchers who voted against the Forests Bill 2004 were understood to have done so to protest recent statements by some Cabinet ministers allied to NAK which the LDP saw as an onslaught against their party.

Forest officers and the vanishing trees                                                                                             (May 30, 2004) Business went on as usual this week as MPs got down to work, having refused to break for the three-week pre-Budget recess last week. Consequently, the House is expected to sit through the Budget until late July.

Involve residents in forest conservation, says MPs                                                                            (May 28, 2004) MPs asked the Government to encourage community participation in forest conservation.The lawmakers were unanimous that communities living near forests were more reliable in forest conservation than even some of its officers who were known to encourage destruction of the resource.

Residents say no to forest project                                                                                                   DAILY NATION - 24. May 2004

Loggers  owe Sh32m, says forest boss                                                                                          (May 24, 2004) Defaulters told to pay up or face arrest - An MP is among the people who owe the Government  Sh32 million for forest materials bought  on credit since   1998, a forestry official said yesterday. The Eldama Ravine Mp Mr Musa Sirma, owes more than Sh10 million for materials obtained  on credit in Koibatek District, the Koibatek District Forest Officer, Mr Joshua Charana. Mr Sirma is a former District Forest Officer.

Call to keep off indigenous forests                                                                                                   Story by NATION Reporter (May 10, 2004) Farmers have been told to keep off indigenous forests. Environment assistant minister Wangari Maathai yesterday said the Government would protect "at all costs" all the gazetted forested areas. "We cannot sacrifice indigenous forests at the expense of etic plantations. Plantations represent a monoculture of trees, but a forest is an ecology system," she said when opening a conference on environment law at the Grand Regency Hotel, Nairobi.

We Say: No to APEC                                                                                                                    In Opposition to Free Market Globalization and Neo Colonialism (Mapuche Nation for the Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples and Nations) Mapuche Organizations and Regional Entities reject APEC summit in their ancestral territory - Contrary to the claims made by governments, businesses and transnational corporations about economic globalization, we do NOT understand globalization as a world of opportunity.

In Solidarity with the Akha                                                                                                              Matthew McDaniel, AKHA CRUSADER detained illegally by Terror-Squad of the Government of Thailand! - A few days ago, the director of the Akha Heritage Foundation, Matthew McDaniel, was arrested in Mae Sai and is likely to be deported from Thailand. Matthew has been living in Northern Thailand for many years and is an internationally known activist for the rights of Indigenous Peoples - and the Akha in particular. He has also repeatedly spoken out against the devastating social and cultural impacts of tourism on the hill peoples in this region.


Forest settlers face eviction                                                                                                            (April 22, 2004) Daily Nation - By: SIMON SIELE - Speculators occupying Government forest land in the Mau settlement scheme will be evicted, the provincial administration has warned. Rift Valley deputy provincial commissioner Benjamin Rotich warned especially families occupying water catchment areas.

Just Say NO TO GEOs - as well as to their CEOs!                                                                           Seed and Gene Wars in East Africa - A time witness and whistle blower observes - by John Bamau - While it has transpired that in Kenya the importation and the transhipment of genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) - formerly known also as genetically modified organisms (GMOs) - to even more vulnerable countries like Somalia and Sudan is not controlled, their use and utilization in the country itself goes likewise totally unchecked. The use of seeds or plants from GEOs in agriculture and even in forestry apparently has been secretly promoted and spread through its in/famous National Youth Service - a paramilitary post school training entity - and other often not informed extension services for years and wide into the rural areas of  this East African country.

Special Issues for the 60th Session of the UN Commission                                                               on Human Rights (excerpt from a report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) - 31.03.2004) During the 4th week (5-9 April 2004), the 60th session of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is scheduled to consider the agenda items relating to vulnerable groups: children, minorities, migrant workers, internally displaced persons, indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities.

Prof. Wangari Maathai, awarded with $100,000 prize for Tree Planting in Africa                                   (March 31, 2004) OSLO - Kenya’s assistant environment minister won a $100,000 prize Monday for leading a campaign to combat deforestation by planting more than 25 million trees across Africa.

Another Blow to Land Clashes Victims                                                                                            (March 31, 2004) The Nation (Nairobi) Thousands of people displaced during the politically instigated land clashes in the 1990s will have nowhere to go after the Government ordered them out of forests by today.

Western Kenya's Ecotourism Rivals 'Sun n' Sand'                                                                            (March 29, 2004) While US travel advisories preoccupy the government and the travel trade, there is something good happening on the Western front of Kenya, touristically speaking.

19,000 Hectares of Forest Lost Annually                                                                                         (March 27, 2004) The Nation (Nairobi) Kenya loses 19,000 hectares of forest every year. And the Environment and Natural Resources minister, Dr Newton Kulundu, blamed the loss on corruption among forest officers.

President promises land titles, while Ogiek lawyer is threatend with murder !                                      (March 26, 2004) A lawyer claims that his life is in danger after he was threatened with murder for allegedly protesting against land allocation in the Mau Forest. Mr. Charles Saina Sena claims that he narrowly escaped death when the influential man whipped out a pistol and threatened to shoot him.

Hunter- gatherers attacked                                                                                                             24 March 2004 e-news from Survival International / Two people were killed, another was wounded and 200 houses were burnt down when a community of Ogiek hunter-gatherers was attacked on February 26 on the forested slopes of Mount Elgon, in western Kenya. The attackers are from the Pok people, who dominate the area and look down on the Ogiek.

"Best way to help Africa is to leave it alone?"                                                                                   THURSDAY POSTCARD 18 MARCH 2004 - The previous week I participated in a controversial debate: "The Best way to help Africa is to leave it alone". It was held at the Royal Geographical Society in London, sponsored by The Evening Standard of London and organized by Intelligence Squared, a Public issue debate organisation.

Please Help -- First World in Deepening Crisis!                                                                                This is an appeal to third world citizens everywhere. Even as you read this, corporate executives all over the world are having to cope with an ever-increasing crisis. The corporations need to produce more profit every year, otherwise they will die. Working via western governments and aid agencies, we have so far managed to stave off this crisis, by building large infrastructure projects like dams, in the third world. More recently we are moving into Eastern Europe too, so you can see we are getting desperate.

KWS wants compensation law changed                                                                        (March 15, 2004) Story by KAULI MWATELA - MPs have been challenged to change the relevant law and pave way for better compensation for wildlife victims. "The ball is in your court," the Kenya Wildlife Services director, Mr Evans Mukolwe said.

UNICEF Nigerian Polio Vaccine Contaminated with Sterilizing Agents, Scientist Finds                        (March 11, 2004) Scientist says things discovered in vaccines are “harmful, toxic” - KADUNA, Nigeria, ( - A UNICEF campaign to vaccinate Nigeria’s youth against polio may have been a front for sterilizing the nation. Dr. Haruna Kaita, a pharmaceutical scientist and Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, took samples of the vaccine to labs in India for analysis.

Letter by Survival International to the Kenya Government                                                                   (March 10, 2004) Re: Attack at Mt Elgon -  Your Excellency , Survival is extremely disturbed by the recent events at Chepyuk forest, on the slopes of Mt Elgon. The local community of the Ogiek people was attacked, two people have been killed, others severely wounded, and two hundred houses burnt down. The aggressors are reported to be from the Pok (Sabaot) a local dominant group, This forest area was originally inhabited by the Chepkitale Ogiek hunter-gatherer people. In the 1970s 24,000 acres of the land was legally assigned to the Ogiek as a settlement scheme, but since then it has been infiltrated by the Sabaot. The attack was apparently intended to drive out the remaining Ogiek settlers. As the original inhabitants of the Mount Elgon forest, the Ogiek ought to have the right to inhabit a much larger area, but now they are being deprived of even the portion that was assigned to them.

Assessment confirms substantial food insecurity                                                                             NAIROBI, 10 March (IRIN) - An assessment of the food security situation in drought-affected areas of Kenya has confirmed that households in the coastal districts as well as in the east and southwest continue to face shortages, a report said on 5 March.

Information Note on the Working Group on Indigenous Populations 2004                                            (March 9, 2004) This is to inform you that the twenty-second session of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations (WGIP) will meet at the United Nations Office in Geneva from 19 to 23 July 2004. The Working Group is open to representatives of indigenous organizations, peoples and communities as well as representatives of Governments, non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies.

OGIEK PRESENTATITION AT WGIP                                                                                              Thank you Mr. Chairman, My name is Daniel Mpoiko Kobei; I am a Kenyan representing a minority, hunter-gatherer community called Ogiek in Kenya. Sir, I consider a great privilege to be part of this august house and a more so amidst the 10th Session of United Nation Working Group on Minorities. Being a minority from a minority community of approximately 22,000 people out of a Kenyan population of about 30 million people according to 1999 national census.

Mau Forest Indigenous People Under Pressure                                                                                NAIROBI, Kenya, March 8, 2004 (ENS) - A scramble for the resources of the Mau forest in western Kenya is displacing indigenous people who have a constitutional right to own homes there. Drought conditions together with logging of the forest is drying up streams that feed into Lake Nakuru.

But nobody from the UN helped the Ogiek women and their children                                                  (March 8, 2004) But nobody from the UN helped the Ogiek women and their children, who fled from their burnt houses into the safeguarding of their forest, when the UN proclaimed today: INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY CELEBRATED COUNTRY-WIDE IN KENYA 

Leaders pay tribute to Prof. Mkangi                                                                              (March 8, 2004) Story by NATION Correspondent and PPS - Publication Date: 03/08/2004 - Leaders yesterday paid glowing tribute to Prof Katama Mkangi who died in a road accident on Saturday.In his message of condolence, President Kibaki described Prof Mkangi as one of the pioneers of pluralism in the country. "Prof Mkangi and other forces articulated well the wishes of the silent majority and their efforts eventually resulted into multi-party politics in the country," the President said.

Open Letter to the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kenya                                             (March 4, 2004) World Organization Against Torture (Geneva) to: Hon. Kiraitu Murungi Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs P.O. Box 56057 Sheria House Nairobi, Kenya - Your Excellency: The Coordination Office and Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Office of the Habitat International Coalition's Housing and Land Rights Network (HIC-HLRN) and the International Secretariat of the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) would like to express their deep concern about the state of housing rights in Kenya.

Ogiek attacked at Mt. Elgon                                                                                                           (ECOTERRA Intl./Nairobi 27.02-03.03.2004) Two politicians have so far been killed, a woman got shot in the stomach and hundreds of people were displaced from a site at an Ogiek ancestral forest in Western Kenya along the Uganda Border, where 200 of their houses were burnt to the ground. The attackers are said to be from the Pok (Bok) ethnic group of the Sabaot tribe, which belongs to the Kalenjin group of nilotic tribes and who live also across the border in Uganda, from where it is said the assault weapons used in the attack derive.

Government committed to human rights, says VP                                                                            Story by MUGUMO MUNENE - Publication Date: 03/04/2004 - Daily Nation - Kenya - The Government is committed to improving its human rights record, Vice-President Moody Awori has said. During Kanu's rule, Kenya’s human rights record was tainted, he said.

Bomas must consider Ogiek land rights                                                                        (March 2, 2004) By Magdalene Nkando - Since it took office a year ago, the Narc Government has been on a marathon race transforming the various development structures, institutions and processes to revive the economy. There has been progress in the country’s development, but for the Ogiek community, there has been very little, if any, opportunity to share in Narc’s initiatives. The Ogiek is a community of about 25,000 people, scattered in various parts of East Africa, with the majority living in Nakuru District.

Rights report likely to cost Kenya US aid                                                                                         (Febrary 27, 2004) The latest US government findings on Kenya's human rights record could cost substantial amounts in development aid.The State Department cites a few positive signs, but rates the Kibaki Government’s record as poor – the same grade the US regularly gave the Moi regime.

Plunder of Mau Forest a Threat to 3m People                                                                                   (February 25, 2004) The East African Standard (Nairobi) The ongoing destruction of the Mau catchment area is threatening the survival of over three million people, a lobby has said. The group said if the destruction was not checked, tourism activities in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem would also suffer.

A-G Accused of Ignoring UN Convention On Torture                                                                          (February 23, 2004) The East African Standard (Nairobi) Kenya risks being suspended from the United Nations Convention Against Torture, Kenya Human Rights Network (K-Hurinet) has said. Speaking on behalf of other K-Hurinet officials, Mr Kamanda Mucheke said this was because Attorney-General Amos Wako has not submitted a single report to the UN Committee Against Torture for the last seven years.

Interview with Miloon Kothari, independent UN special rapporteur on adequate housing                        NAIROBI, 23 February 2004 (IRIN) "When we visited the Ogieks, we found them in a state of insecrity." - Miloon Kothari, the independent special rapporteur on adequate housing of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) was on mission in Kenya for two weeks in February.

UN Agent Shocked At Forest Destruction                                                                                        (February 19, 2004) The East African Standard (Nairobi) - The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has expressed shock at the continued destruction of forests in Nakuru despite a Government ban on logging. An official at the commission, Mr Miloon Kothari, yesterday personally witnessed the wanton destruction during a tour of Mau East forest.

Indigenous Peoples' Knowledge in Modern Patent Trap                                                                     (February 19, 2004) - (ET) Kuala Lumpur - Indigenous people are trapped in a "Catch-22" situation over the protection of their traditional knowledge about medicinal and other uses  of plants as well as other recipes from Mother Nature.

Ogiek and Watha among 100,000 New supporters for the Bushmen                                                   (February 16, 2004) Survival supporters around the world are handing in a 100,000 signature petition to Botswana embassies and consulates this week. The hand-in marks the second anniversary of the forced relocation of hundreds of Gana and Gwi 'Bushmen' from their ancestral land. One year ago Survival presented the first 100,000 signatures to the Botswana government.

Group wants land lease deals halted                                                                                               (February 13, 2004) By ODHIAMBO ORLALE and TONY KAGO - Delegates have appealed to the Government to freeze the renewal of all land leases with multinational companies until the new constitution is enacted. The delegates accused a powerful politician of supporting Magadi Soda Company to have its 99-year lease, signed between the colonial government and the Maasais in Kajiado District, renewed in an underhand manner. 

Lands report recommends equal rights                                                                                            (February 13, 2004) By MARK AGUTU - Kenyans will have equal rights to own and use land if a policy currently being worked on is implemented. The policy, the first ever in the country, will also make the local land market more effective and efficient, according to the Land Policy Formulation Process draft.

Minister Tells Biwott Off Over Forests                                                                                              (February 11, 2004) The East African Standard  (Nairobi) Environment Minister Dr Newton Kulundu yesterday took on Keiyo South MP Nicholas Biwott for criticising the issuance of tree harvesting licences to major saw millers. Kulundu told Biwott to keep off the Narc Government's policy of conserving forests.

After its over - the High Commisioner starts counting the losses                                                        (February 9, 2004) International Decade on the World's Indigenous People (1995 – 2004) - Information note - From: United Nations - HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS - The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights presents its compliments to all indigenous organizations and has the honour to refer to Economic and Social Council decision 2003/306 in which it was decided to initiate a review of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People.

Africa Policy Outlook 2004                                                                                                             (January 29, 2004) Salih Booker and Ann-Louise Colgan - In 2004, despite the fact that two African-Americans occupy both of the major foreign policy posts in the U.S. government, Washington will not give Africa the attention it deserves and requires. The U.S.' Africa policy will continue to be characterized by a duplicity that has emerged as the principal hallmark of the Bush administration approach to the continent.

Time to complete the judicial clean-up                                                                                             (January 23, 2004) After months of talking tough, the Law Society of Kenya has asked the Government to sack another nine judges for corruption and incompetence. This will shock the judges who had escaped Ringera’s cleaver. It will also surprise those who distrust the LSK.

Row over Mau Forest ownership                                                                                                      (January 20, 2004) Huge parts of Mau Forest could soon be destroyed owing to disagreement on who owns the gazetted land. Narok residents say they own part of it while the county council insists all of it is gazetted and out of bounds to unauthorised individuals.

2 communities allowed to stay in state forests                                                                                 (January 14, 2004) The Dorobo and Ogiek communities have been allowed to remain in State forests. Environment assistant minister Wangari Maathai said they were the only people categorised as "hunters and gatherers" of food, and as such would be allowed access to public forests. Prof Maathai said other people occupying public forests illegally must move out within the new March deadline.

A Decade of Rhetoric for Indigenous Peoples                                                                                   (January 12, 2004) Few people may realize that we are living in the United Nations' International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (1995-2004). As with other UN designated Decades - Women (1976-1985) and the Eradication of Colonialism (1990-2000) - the goal stated at the outset of the Indigenous Decade was ambitious: to strengthen international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by Indigenous peoples in the areas of human rights, culture, the environment, development, education and health.

Forest Farmers Given More Time to Move Out                                                                                  (January 10, 2004) The Nation (Nairobi) The deadline for the quit notice to people living or cultivating in public forests has been extended to March 31.

“MAU FOREST COMPLEX ON THE SPOTLIGHT”                                                                            KENYAN`S MUST BE TOLD THE TRUTH - "Ogiek Opposition to the forest excision"

Forest evictions were a lapse in judgment                                                                                        (January 9, 2004) Environment Minister Newton Kulundu and his assistant, Prof Wangari Maathai, are yet to give credible justification for evicting non-resident cultivators from forests around the country.

"AGAIN EVICTION THREAT"                                                                                                          (January 9, 2004) OPEN LETTER TO THE NARC GOVERNMENT - Ogiek Elders and Leaders Seek Clarification on Government Quit Directive on Forests that Expired On 31st December 2003 and which the Minister extended to 31st March, 2004.

British foreign aid is now targeted at countries willing to sell off their assets to big business                 (January 6, 2004) The Guardian - Spare a thought this bleak new year for all those who rely on charity. Open your hearts, for example, to a group of people who, though they live in London, are in such desperate need of handouts that last year they received £7.6m in foreign aid. The Adam Smith Institute, the ultra-rightwing lobby group, now receives more money from Britain's Department for International Development (DfID) than Liberia or Somalia, two of the most desperate nations on Earth.

Farmers Obey Order On Forests                                                                                                     (January 6, 2004) The Nation (Nairobi) - Most farmers who had planted crops in Government forests in Keiyo District had by yesterday complied with the notice to vacate the land. Others were removing their crops, some of which were not ready for harvesting.

For security's sake, relax gun control                                                                             (05.01.2004) The first case of illicit firearms possession was reported in Turkana District in 1928. Demand was driven by the need by communities in this district to defend themselves against Sudanese raiders targeting their animals.


News / Archives: 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999