By Maria MachariaCAJ News - 17. November 2017

Nairobi — MINORITY groups are living in fear of eviction from their ancestral lands in Kenya. This follows the government constituting a task force on the implementation of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights judgment regarding the case of the indigenous Ogiek people. The newly-formed government of President Uhuru Kenyatta has failed to consult the community while its task force lacks any Ogiek representatives.

This is in spite of the African Court delivered a major victory for the Ogiek, following repeated evictions from their ancestral lands in Mau Forest in the Rift Valley. "It is extremely concerning that the government has sought to press ahead with a process which does not reflect the needs or wishes of the Ogiek community," said Lucy Claridge, Legal Director at Minority Rights Group (MRG).

She said the notable omissions called into question whether meaningful implementation of the African Court's judgment would take place. The African Court's decision in May was hailed as a huge step forward for the Ogiek people in recognising their customary right to land. In addition to declaring that the government had violated the Ogiek's rights due to repeated evictions without consultation or compensation, the African Court ruled that the government had denied their freedoms to religion, culture and development. Numbering over 30 000, the Ogiek are hunter-gatherers.

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