OPDP condemns Demolitions
of Ogiek house
Peoples Development Program (OPDP) condemns the recent attacks on Ogiek
activist and demolition of a house belonging to one Mr. Simon Kipkoech
Rana an Ogiek community in Ngongongeri village, Njoro District in Nakuru
demolition is a result of a conflict on a private piece of land in the said
area between Mr.Simon and a person who came to claim the same piece alleging
he had bought it from the owner. This brought tension and the intruder
reported Mr.Simon's wife, Emily Chepkurui to the local police after she hit
him with a cooking stick.
local police arrested Mrs. Emily but released her the next day on a cash
bond of 10,000 Kenyan shillings.
27th after a meeting at the OCPD 's office at Njoro , the said intruder went
back to Mr.Simon's homestead and demolished a house.He is also alleged to have
been in a possession of a 5 liter petrol which he intended to use to burn down
Mr.Simon's Homestead but failed after he was shot with an arrow on his back.
it is the same night that the house(pictured below) was demolished by people
reported to be from a neighboring Community.
Ogiek activists have since been on the run after the local police and those
purpoted to be the owners of the lands in the village issued death threats to
them. This is not the first time Ogiek activist get threatened or harrased, in
March 2011,six people attacked Mr.James Rana an Ogiek activist in his home at
around 2:30am with machetes knives and other sorts of crude weapons
inflicting serious cuts and injuries on his hands, head and legs.
Ogiek community with help from OPDP together with Minority Rights Group(MRG)
are pursuing a case at the African court Challenging the Kenyan government for
massive and continued violations of their human rights including repeated
forceful evictions,right to property access to natural resources among
others.This case is currently pending before the court and is due to be heard
later this year.
Concern over Attacks on Ogiek Activists
Minority Rights Group
03 February 2014
The home of Adam Cheruiyot, detroyed during the recent attack
Rights Group International (MRG) condemns the recent attack on a key Ogiek
activist Adam Cheruiyot (not his real name) and his family after he resisted
eviction from his land. He has also been threatened by local police.
(not his real name) was involved in a land disagreement with a private
individual on 26 January 2014 in Ngongongeri village, Njoro District, Nakuru
County. According to the Ogiek People`s Development Programme (OPDP), a local
NGO working to secure the rights of the community, a confrontation erupted
when the other person tried to evict Cheruiyot with the apparent permission of
the local police from land that Cheruiyot claims ancestrally belongs to him.
Ogiek - with the assistance of MRG and OPDP - are currently pursuing a legal
case challenging the systematic denial of their human rights by the Kenyan
government. The case alleges violations of the Ogiek`s rights to
non-discrimination, property, natural resources, development, religion and
culture under the African Charter on Human and Peoples` Rights. This case is
currently pending before the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘the
African Court’) and is due to be heard later this year. Cheruyot has given
affidavit evidence about past harassment to the African Court as part of the
Ogiek’s ongoing case and may be called as witness in the upcoming hearing.
The African Court has issued an order for the Kenyan government to halt any
actions that may prejudice the case.
minority rights activists in this way is unacceptable. Not only does such
behaviour violate the Ogiek`s fundamental human rights, but it is also
directly contravenes the provisional measures order issued by the African
Court, says Lucy Claridge, MRG`s Head of Law.
is not the first time there is a deliberate orchestrated move to single out
key community activists with threats, intimidation and harassment. In March
2011, six people broke into James Rana`s home around 2:30 am and attacked him
with machetes, knives and other tools, causing serious injuries to his head,
hands and legs. Within the same period, a group of people attacked and abused
Rosaline Kuresoi, 34, a local land and minority women rights activist, on her
way home from Njoro market.
Kobei, the OPDP Executive Director, said he was not shocked that police is now
siding with the law breakers. Kobei added, This intimidation and threats are
meant to corner us into submission so that we give up on our quest for justice
and equity. We shall not engage in violence but will never give up.
this recent incident, it is alleged that four individuals surveyed the land
and started to burn maize stalks growing there. They threatened and harassed
Cheruiyot and his wife, destroyed their home and required that they vacate the
confrontation attracted other persons including 50 non-Ogiek who arrived armed
with bows and arrows, behaving in a menacing manner. Cheruiyot was supported
in his refusal to leave the land by other local Ogiek, including Peter
Kiplangat (not his real name).
Cheruiyot’s sister subsequently reported the threats, intimidation and
harassment and trespass on their property to the local police station at Njoro,
she was arrested, held overnight and charged with the crime of trespass.
Although released the following day, having paid cash bail of KES 10,000 (approx
115 USD), the charges remain pending.
the morning of 27 January 2014, the local police officer came to investigate
the incident. Once the officer had left the area, the private individual
returned to Cheruiyot’s land and again tried to take possession. The local
Tugen who were present caused a scuffle, during which the other person was
shot with an arrow.
the aftermath of these incidents, the local OCPD police commander in Njoro
accused Cheruiyot and Kiplangat of attacking the other person. The police
commander also reportedly made threats against Cheruyot’s life, calling for
him to be shot, and demanded that Cheruiyot and his family leave their lands.
Many other members of the Ogiek community have reportedly gone into hiding in the forest after the threats from police.
Notes to the Editor
• Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is a non-governmental organisation working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide
arrange interviews please contact:
MRG Press Office in Africa - Mohamed Matovu
T: +256 312266832
M: +256 782748189 or +254719506482
Kobei at OPDP
Ogiek Peoples Development Program