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"If evictions continue, our communities will be gone. They will simply be relegated to history."

August 10, 2020
Aftermath of evictions in the Mau Forest Complex. Photo OPDP

Aftermath of evictions in the Mau Forest Complex. Photo OPDP

On June 27, 2020 a heavy contingent of Kenya Forestry Service (KFS) security officers started an operation to flash out grazers at the Logoman Forest station, evicting over 300 Ogiek families and destroying hundreds of homes. 

“Well over 600 people are suffering due to these evictions. Over 300 housing structures have been destroyed. Hundreds of livestock are suffering for grazing. The community, particularly our children, have been traumatized.”

The evictions violated the COVID-19 eviction moratorium in place in addition to the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights ruling from 2017 that recognized the Ogiek community land rights and the valuable role they play as environmental stewards. 

In an extensive interview, Oakland Institute Executive Director Anuradha Mittal speaks with Daniel Kobei of the Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program, who represented the Ogiek throughout the Arusha case, as he explains the ground reality of the recent spate of evictions during a global pandemic, the impact of the fortress conservation model of environmentalism on Indigenous communities in Kenya, and the need for solidarity actions that can be taken by international civil society.

“We need you to tell the Kenyan government, “they (the Ogiek) are equal citizens in Kenya. They should be respected; their lands should be protected and preserved. They should be allowed to own their territories. Let them be the owners and stewards of conservation efforts, not sidelined participants. They should be allowed to be in control of their lands, without being harassed and evicted time in and time out.”

Read the Full Interview