News 2008


Paramilitary units hunt Ogiek, while Kikuyu arsonists burn houses of fleeing Ogiek to the ground

19. Jan 2008 - Elburgon / Kenya - WTN

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.

Though Ogiek, one of the hunter-gatherer tribes of Kenya, regularly carry bows and arrows to maintain their marginalized life while collecting mainly honey and wild fruits from the forest, many other peoples living in the area, like Kikuyu, Maasai and Kalenjin have armed themselves with such traditional weapons since the post-election skirmishes broke out in Kenya three weeks ago. After that police officer died in hospital a manhunt has been launched now to find the culprit, but during the mayhem of the search in the vast forests around Mariashoni mainly the indigenous Ogiek are suffering from police brutality.

Last night more than 20 houses belonging to resident Ogiek in Mariashoni / Mau Forest were torched and burned to the ground by groups of Kikuyu youth, who apparently did this after the Ogiek had fled from the houses in order not to be entangeled in the police operation. The Kikuyu youth allegedly receive protection from the security personnel and could launch the arsonist attack against the Ogiek while security personnel was watching.

Roadblocks errected by Kikuyu youth along the road to Elburgon have to far made it impossible for Human Rights lawyers to reach the zone.