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Disaster and Civil Strife in Kenya Documentation of the developments - Compilation of news showing the
making and development of bloody unrest.
Ogiek accuse MPs of
(24.08.2008) Ogiek community has accused some Rift Valley
politicians of attempting to hold Prime Minister Raila Odinga to
ransom over the Mau Forest evictions. The elders claimed a meeting
held last weekend in Kericho, which the PM attended, was a scheme
to arm-twist the Government into rescinding the decision to evict
The Complications of
the Mau Complex
(22.08.2008) For years now, the controversy of whether or not to
evict squatters in the Mau Forest Complex in southwestern Kenya
has been played by politicians to their own gain. The problem at
the Mau has survived four general (parliamentary and presidential)
elections so far, and it doesn’t seem to be going away.
Fencing of Mau Forest
to cost Sh40m
(19.08.2008) The Government is seeking Sh40 million to erect a
fence and prevent further destruction of Mau Forest. Environment
minister John Michuki said on Tuesday that the
40 kilometre stretch would run along the original boundary of the
forest marked in the 1980s.
Angry elders hold Raila
to ransom over Mau evictions
(17.08.2008) Prime Minister Raila Odinga has come under attack by
Kipsigis elders over the intended eviction of more
than 15,000 people from the Mau
Forest. The elders, who included seven MPs, councillors and
professionals, told Raila to his face they would rethink their
support for him in the next General Election.
CHEPKITALE OGIEK CALL
(16.08.2008) We the Chepkitale Ogiek (Ndorobos)
urgently request the Government of Kenya to
immediately lift the restrictions it has
imposed on aid agencies since July 2008
from accessing Chepkitale. We see this as another armtwisting by
the PC and DC to force the Ndorobos out of their traditional homes
Let’s return to the good
old days when the Mau played its role
(14.08.2008) Many have cried their hearts out for the Mau Forest.
Indeed, to be alone in the woods of the Mau in the days of yore in
the middle of the night was a chilling experience. The trees and
thicket, positioned themselves in a soldierly manner, ready for
Government plan to save Mau
(11.08.2008) All settlers of the Mau Forest complex - whether
legal or otherwise - will have to move out. This was the stern
message from Prime Minister Raila Odinga when he opened the 10th
Biennial Conference of the International Society for Ecological
Economics in Nairobi, on Saturday evening.
Military returns to
operation base, but questions arise over their mission
(10.08.2008) Security personnel have returned to an area in Mt
Elgon littered with bodies of people thought to have been arrested
in the military operation against the murderous Sabaot Land
Defense Force (SLDF).
‘worked in shifts’
(10.08.2008) The post-election violence early this year was
organised and executed with military precision, a human rights
report says. Leaders and communities are said to have provided
food, transport and allowances for the militias.
Struggles of Indigenous People
(09.08.2008) With today, August 9th, being the United Nations
International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, I thought I
would highlight a few of the Struggles facing Indigenous People…
the vast majority of which the United Nations seems to completely
Who was worse, militia
or army? Village dilemma
(04.08.2008) Whether the military should have been deployed to Mt
Elgon District or whether it committed atrocities are issues Mrs
Rita Nasipondwi is least bothered about. All she knows is that she
can now sleep peacefully after three years.
State must act on Mau
Forest now or risk dire outcome
(02.08.2008) Listening to the voices coming from Rift Valley
politicians on the question of the Mau Complex, one discerns a
careless reaction to a highly important national issue. The
conservation of the forest block is not a sectional issue or a
mere inter-communal conflict over land and water.
Pay us for damages,
families tell Government
(01.08.2008) Families evicted from Mt Kenya forest more than two
decades ago want the Government to compensate them.
The families, now living in Mathira, also want
the Government to give them alternative land alongside
squatters who will be moved from Mau forest.
“All the Men Have Gone”
- War Crimes in Kenya’s Mt. Elgon Conflict
(July 2008) HRW report on torture in Mt Elgon: Human Rights Watch
report accuses the Kenya military of war crimes against the Sabaot
during the security operation in Mt Elgon.
Leaders not sincere on
(31.07.2008) The Mau forest saga does not appear to end soon, what
with ‘hundreds of people crossing rivers and boundaries to reach
the outlawed settlement’. The impending eviction is a political
mirage. After all, land matters and politics are intertwined such
that proper reasoning and decisions are never arrived at...
Mau Forest is a
(30.07.2008) Mau Forest is an important source of water not only
for human beings but also wild animals. Its destruction will lead
to an economic crisis in this country and in neighbouring states
Voices: Destruction of
Mau a threat to generations
(29.07.2008) The destruction of Mau Forest poses a threat to the
survival of the present and future generations. As politicians
squabble, Mau is getting exterminated. Depletion of the vital
forest reserve should be stopped without further delay.
Proceed cautiously on
(28.07.2008) Recently, a gathering of stakeholders sat in KICC and
drew resolutions on Mau Forest. As debate raged and the
resolutions were sealed, the poor of Mau were busy going about
their business, perhaps oblivious of the gravity of the KICC
meeting. It was decided that they must move out by October this
Fence off Mau and
address threat to other water towers
(28.07.2008) I have been following recent discussion on the Mau
Forest with concern, partly because some of us have been raising
alarm over forests for decades with little success.
Using Mau Forest as a cover
(28.07.2008) Due to the crooked nature of and vested interests by
the major protagonists involved, the real issues surrounding the
Mau Forest saga increasingly sound like yesterday news.
in Mt Elgon operation, government urged
(28.07.2008) NAIROBI, (IRIN) - A public inquiry should be set up
into "torture and war crimes" committed by the Sabaot Land Defence
Forces (SLDF) militia and the military in Mt Elgon District, human
rights activists said.
The facts about Mau
(27.07.2008) The Mau ranges form one side of nature’s
architectural marvel, the Great Rift Valley. It is on these ranges
that the Mau Forest nests, cuddled by a rare mix of animals, birds
and flora to constitute one of the largest water towers in the
The Mau complex:
Peasants, propaganda and fraud
(27.07.2008) The Mau Complex has proved to be a political dynamite
that cannot be diffused by the fainthearted or by politicians out
for popularity stunts.
Mau exit deadline needs
to be more realistic - Ruto
(27.07.2008) Three MPs from the South Rift region want the planned
eviction of 15,000 families in Mau forest to be postponed.
Mau forest: State
cannot have the cake and eat it
(26.07.2008) Mau Forest, which is the source of 12 major rivers,
is undoubtedly our priceless and most important water tower. The
question of whether human habitation and degradation of any
nature, including felling trees for sawmilling business, should be
allowed should not even arise. Destruction through logging,
excisions and encroachment of this fragile ecosystem is a matter
of life and death.
Part of Mt Elgon forest
to be degazetted
(26.07.2008) The Government will soon de-gazette part of Mt Elgon
forest to expand the controversial Chebyuk settlement in Mt Elgon
District. Western PC Abdul Mwasserah said the move was part of the
reconstruction initiated by the Government after security
personnel restored peace.
Does coalition have
will to resolve Mau crisis?
(25.07.2008) If the grand coalition Government does not resolve
the Mau Forest saga it will prove to Kenyans and the rest of the
world that it doesn’t deserve to rule.
Dispute over draft land
(24.07.2008) Proponents and opponents of the draft National Land
Policy are at it again, trading fresh accusations. On Tuesday,
Lands Minister James Orengo said he would prepare a Sessional
Paper to present to Parliament for debate and possible adoption
after Cabinet approval.
MP’s lorry impounded
with illegal sandalwood
(24.07.2008) Police in Baringo have impounded an MP’s lorry
ferrying sandalwood worth Sh10 million. The lorry was impounded at
Tenges on Sunday night. A suspect, Mr Benjamin Rugut Kihara, was
arrested at Salawa. He had also been charged with ferrying the
endangered plant last month.
Protests over Mau
(23.07.2008) Sixty councillors on Wednesday called for urgent
action to stop the destruction of Mau Forest. Led by Narok county
council chairman Solomon Moriaso, the civic leaders said the rape
of the water catchment was an ecological disaster that must be
stopped. They also supported plans to evict farmers from the Mau.
Don’t politicise Mau
evictions, says Ntimama
(23.07.2008) Cabinet Minister William Ntimama
has said environmental concerns should override
political considerations in the protection of
Mau forest. Ntimama, who is also the Narok North MP, said the
Government should evict illegal settlers in the forest to protect
millions of lives, whose survival depends on the water tower.
New settlers moving
into Mau, warn MPs
(23.07.2008) Thousands of people are trooping into Mau forest with
the hope of benefiting from the planned Government resettlement of
illegal farmers, Maasai leaders claimed on Tuesday.
Ignore October 30
deadline, minister tells Mau squatters
(22.07.2008) An assistant minister has called on people living in
Mau Forest to ignore the Govern-ment’s eviction notice unless
alternative land for resettlement is offered.
Mau saga proves Kenyans
do not care about environment
(22.07.2008) THOSE RIOTING OVER THE Government’s plan to
comprehensively restore the Mau complex should be understood
within the context of the typical Kenyan’s contempt for
Raila orders stop to
(22.07.2008) The fate of thousands of people living in Mau Forest
will be determined by a task force launched by Prime Minister
Raila Odinga. However, the 21-member team was directed to ensure
any further destruction of the water tower or encroachment was
threaten Mau forest
(22.07.2008) The direct involvement of political leaders in the
Mau Complex evictions stands in the way of the Government’s
resolve to rid the forest of illegal settlers.
Kenya to benefit from
WB's forest carbon partnership facility
(22.07.2008) NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya will be among 14
developing and nine industrialized countries of an innovative
partnership and world financing mechanism to combat tropical
deforestation and climate change.
MSF at odds with Kenyan
police over aid work in western Kenya
(21.07.2008) NAIROBI (AFP) - Medical charity Medecins
Sans Frontieres on Monday denounced Kenyan authorities
for blocking its mobile clinics in
the troubled Mount Elgon region, but police responded that the
restrictions were necessary.
Mau Complex Task Force
(21.07.2008) Prime minister, Raila Odinga says the process of
corrective actions that will be taken in the Mau forest by the
government will be undertaken in a humane manner.
Team to resolve Mau
(21.07.2008) Prime Minister Raila Odinga is set to launch a task
force to address the Mau Complex dispute Monday, even as a section
of Rift Valley leaders vowed to resist the planned eviction of
farmers allocated land in the forest.
Let us join hands in
protecting the Mau Forest and other natural resources
(21.07.2008) Though the Mau Forest is an ecosystem with great
ecological and economic importance, it’s saddening to see and hear
some politicians trivialising the issue of its conservation for
narrow political interests.
Mau forest stands for
life, our future
(21.07.2008) THE 400,000-HECTARE MAU FOREST COMPLEX remains by far
the most important water tower in the region. The source of at
least 12 rivers, the complex is the bedrock of economic activity
in Western Kenya and the Lake Victoria region in general.
RAILA PICKS TASKFORCE
FOR MAU FOREST PROBE
(21.07.2008) THE government is likely to face a major
confrontation with a section of MPs from the Rift Valley after
forming a task force to address the controversial Mau complex
settled on by thousands of people.
Charity says Kenya
security forces block its work
(21.07.2008) NAIROBI (Reuters) - A medical charity accused Kenyan
security forces on Monday of blocking its work in a remote eastern
region where soldiers are fighting rebels.
Mps differ on the Mau
(20.07.2008) Forestry and wildlife Minister Noah Wekesa has openly
differed with a group of Rift Valley MPs opposed to the eviction
of people living in the Mau Escarpment.
Mau Forest Destruction
Will Cost the Kenya Economy US$300M
(19.07.2008) Protecting Mau Forest in Kenya’s
Economic Interest - Nairobi - Kenya stands to lose a nature-based
economic asset worth over US $300 million alone to the tea,
tourism and energy sectors if the forest of the Mau Complex
continues to be degraded and destroyed, the UN Environment
Programme said today.
Moi son accuses leaders
of duping Mau residents
(19.07.2008) Former Baringo Central MP Gideon Moi has expressed
surprise at leaders who fail to honour their promises. He singled
out the case of Mau forest, where the leaders had, during the last
election campaigns, pledged not to evict squatters.
Government to safeguard
(18.07.2008) The government has said it is committed to restoring
Mau forest to its original purpose so as to safeguard the
catchments of the over twenty rivers that rely on the forest.
Protect forest at all
cost, say experts
(18.07.2008) A conservation organisation has urged the Government
to ignore pressure from politicians on plans to rehabilitate the
Mau Forest. Joseph Terer, the Nile Basin Initiative projects
manager in charge of the Mara River Basin, said populist politics
should not override conservation issues. Terer said the depletion
of Mau Forest, a regional water tower, had over the years
threatened the existence of many rivers and streams in Kenya and
Protecting Mau Forest
in Kenya's Economic Interest
(18.07.2008) Nairobi, July 2008-Kenya stands to lose a
nature-based economic asset worth over US $300 million alone to
the tea, tourism and energy sectors if the forest of the Mau
Complex continues to be degraded and destroyed, the UN Environment
Programme said today.
The Mau must be saved at
(18.07.2008) The Government must move firmly and with
determination to clear the Mau Forest of illegal settlement, while
addressing the concerns of all those affected who deserve a
sympathetic and humane solution. On that there must be no
safeguard Mau Forest
(18.07.2008) President Mwai Kibaki today said the Government was
committed to restoring Mau forest to its original purpose so as to
safeguard the catchments of the over twenty rivers that rely on
MP allocated land in
Mau, report says
(18.07.2008) Bureti MP Franklin Bett is one of the leaders
allocated land in Mau Forest. However, the 10 hectares at Kerisoi
Station in Kericho was declared illegal by the commission of
inquiry into the irregular allocation of public land.
Rift Valley MPs reject
eviction notice for Mau squatters
(17.07.2008) Some MPs from the Rift Valley have rejected the
Government’s eviction order for squatters in Mau Forest. The ten
MPs warned the Government against implementing resolutions arrived
at the stakeholders consultative meeting in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Mau Forest evictions
must be humane
(17.07.2008) The Government’s repossession of land in the Mau
complex, justified given the complex history of corrupt dealings
that led to settlement on public land, should be conducted as
humanely as possible to avoid undue penalties on those living on
Don’t incite Mau
settlers, Ruto told
(17.07.2008) A Cabinet minister has accused two colleagues of
inciting Mau Forest settlers to resist eviction. Forestry and
Wildlife Minister Noah Wekesa said the two ministers politicised
the issue. Dr Wekesa said Mr William Ruto (Agriculture) and Mr
Henry Kosgey (Industrialisation) should educate their people on
the dangers of their continued stay in the forest.
BAN KI-MOON CALLS FOR
PROTECTING CHILDREN IN ARMED CONFLICT A ‘MORAL CALL’
(17.07.2008) - while aboriginal OGIEK CHILDREN SUFFER IN KENYA at
the hands of Kenya army - Protecting children in armed conflict is
a moral issue, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed today,
calling for increased action to safeguard young people caught up
State evicts squatters
(16.07.2008) A humanitarian crisis has hit Mount Elgon District
following a decision by the Provincial Administration to evict
members of the Ogiek community from a forest.
Get out of Mau Forest or
we evict you, squatters told
(16.07.2008) All squatters in Mau forest must move out by October
30 or be evicted. This was decided during a day-long consultation
between Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 10 Cabinet ministers, 15 MPs
and 200 representatives of various groups from the Mau Complex at
Squatters ordered out of
(16.07.2008) Thousands of squatters living in Mau Forest have been
ordered to vacate by October as part of measures by the Government
to restore Kenya’s biggest water catchment area.
The Mount Elgon Debacle
(15.07.2008) Day 5: Kapsokwony - Two more children are the latest
victims of the reign of terror being perpetrated in the name of
the Government of Kenya on the Ogiek peoples of Mount Elgon's
House Team Rejects
Ethnic Relations Bill
(15.07.2008) A parliamentary committee has
rejected the legislation proposing the
creation of a commission on ethnic and racial discrimination.
Members of the Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs
Committee scrutinised the National Ethnic and Race Relations
Commission Bill, who were meeting in Mombasa last weekend, said it
Forest funding 'could
put billions in wrong hands'
(14.07.2008) The rush to protect forests as a way to tackle global
warming could see billions of pounds handed over to corrupt
politicians, criminals and polluting industries, experts have
DATE: 12TH JULY 2008 - TO: THE RIGHT HONOURABLE: PRIME MINISTER
HON. RAILA AMOLO ODINGA. - SUBJECT: OGIEK ANCESTRAL LANDS IN THE
MAU FOREST COMPLEX - Hon. Primer Minister, Nearly 45 years have
passed since Kenya attained her independence and the minority
Ogiek people still live like squatters in their own country yet
historians believe that the Ogiek are the first inhabitants to
modern day Kenya....
Atrocities in Mount
Elgon affect Ogiek
(11.07.2008) The acrid smell of burning suffused the air of
Chebong'weny today and palls of smoke dotted the horizon and
disappeared over the brow of the hills into Trans Nzoia. It
reminded me of the sights I saw early last year when the SLDF were
destroying homes in Chepyuk.
Army hunts for Mt Elgon
(03.07.2008) A former nominated MP is among prominent people being
sought by the military over their involvement in Sabaot Land
Defence Force operations.
Ogiek People Say They
Are Forgotten Victims of Kenyan Election Violence
As Kenya recovers from last December's
post-election violence, the Ogiek people say they remain the
forgotten victims. Their homes were burned and members of their
community were attacked. The Ogiek live in the Mau Forest in
Kenya's Rift Valley and are the country's largest forest-dwelling
Africa loosing massive
(12.06.2008) A recently launched report by Unep shows Africa is
losing four million hectares of forest cover every year and brings
vividly to light the impact of development policies, population
growth, climate change and conflicts on the environment.
Poll chaos threat to survival
of key water source
(11.03.2008) Hundreds of
families have illegally invaded Mau Forest, posing grave danger to
the environment and wildlife. Conflicts do not just destabilise
human lives. The environment also suffers when mobs take advantage
of a breakdown in law and order to invade forests and plunder
other natural resources.
Choppers pursue Mt Elgon militia
(05.03.2008) The Government has launched the long-awaited
ground-to-air operation against the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF)
militiamen in Mt Elgon and Trans-Nzoia West districts.
Rights group claims lobbyists' lives in danger
(28.02.2008) Journalists and human rights defenders whose lives were
threatened in the wake of the political violence are yet to get any
protection from the Government, a human rights organisation has said.
SENGWER SUFFER FROM POLICE AND RAIDERS ALIKE
(16.02.2008) 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.
LEADER RECEIVES DEATH THREAT
(14.02.2008) A leader of the Ogiek tribe 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.'
Loggers Capitalise on
Violence in North Rift to Venture Into Forests
(13.02.2008) Forests in parts of North Rift region have not
escaped the effects of political unrest occasioned by the December
27 disputed presidential election results.
Urgent work for Human Rights Investigators at Mt Elgon
(09.02.2008) As PNU and ODM fight it out, who actually won the
2007 elections in Kenya, the Ogiek of Mt Elgon continue to be
raped and maimed by the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF), a
rag-tag militia of heavily armed Bok, who have taken over the Mt
African Nations Join Forces
to Form Anti-Ivory Trade Coalition
(08.02.2008) Delegates and experts of wildlife conservation
agencies in Africa from 17 countries came together and formally
created a united front to save their countries most valued
flagship species, the African elephant.
Propaganda film airs on Swedish TV
(08.02.2008) This past Monday, Swedish Television aired
“Historiens Fångar” (History’s Prisoners) - an anti-indigenous
propaganda film that claims there are no traditional Indigenous
cultures left in the world, and that the only chance of survival
for the remaining ‘drunk and pathetic few’ is through assimilating
into colonial society.
invade anthropology conferences?
(06.02.2008) The U.S. military is not only interested in employing
anthropologists. Now, they have started attending anthropology
conferences. Anthropologist Caroline Osella from the University in
London and one of the editors of Social Mobility In Kerala, is
Kenya Honey-Gathering Forest
Tribe Caught in Violence
(05.02.2008) The violence that has swept across Kenya since
December's presidential election has hit the tiny forest-dwelling
Ogiek tribe, bringing to the fore grievances that have been
simmering for years.
Ogiek People Say They're
Under Attack In Kenya's Rift Valley
(30.01.2008) The violence in Kenya’s Rift Valley is now targeting
the Ogiek people, who are indigenous hunter-gatherers in the Mau
Forest. Reports say homes are being burned and many people have
Honey-hunting Ogiek tribe
caught up in violence
(30.01.2008) Leaders of the honey-hunting Ogiek tribe have
reported that they are being targeted in the escalating
post-election violence in Kenya.
DRC: World Bank slams its own
NAIROBI (IRIN) - World Bank forestry projects in
the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ignored the rights of
indigenous pygmies and overestimated the benefits of industrial
logging in reducing poverty, the bank itself said in a report that
concluded internal guidelines had been breached.
Paramilitary units hunt
Ogiek, while Kikuyu arsonists burn houses of fleeing
Ogiek to the ground (19.01.2008) Horrible reports from
Elburgon speak of police and para-military units hunting members
of the Ogiek community, whom they allegedly blame for the death of
one police officer. Security personnel, however, could not provide
any evidence that the Ogiek are involved in this case at all. The
officer was shot in the head with an arrow.
Farmers turn to commercial forestry after logging ban
(15.01.2008) Farmers are turning to commercial forestry to earn a
living following shortage of timber and tree products across the
country. The ban on logging has also been a major driving force.
Ogiek Women Raped by GSU
(08.01.2008) Tinet / Kenya - WTN - 8th Jan. 2008 - Members of the
General Service Unit (GSU), the paramilitary force known for its
brutality since 20 years, have allegedly raped two Ogiek women and
two girls of minor age during the days of turmoil after the
fraudulent presidential election in Kenya.
Aboriginal Peoples Helpline set up in Kenya
(03.01.2008) Members of the aboriginal minority peoples suffer the
most, while the major tribes fight it out in Kenya's post-election
skirmishes. In addition a situation, where the population has been
intentionally or unintentionally cut off from the mobile phone
networks, because hardly any possibilities to top up the private
phone-credits are remaining, creates a situation of increasing
helplessness and insecurity....
Ogiek shot by Kenya Police
(03.01.2008) Two Ogiek are the latest victims of Police brutality in
Kenya's post-election turmoil. Nicolas Borwa, aged 29, were
yesterday shot in the leg and Elijah Lesingo, aged 32, was shot in
the neck. Both survived but are in bad condition.
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