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The World Bank is hosted a Colloquium on “Deepening Dialogue with Stakeholders in the Forest Sector in Kenya”, at the week of 6 March, 2015.

The Colloquium was organised following a series of violent evictions over many years of the indigenous Sengwer from their homes in the Embobut Forest in the Cherangany Hills.

Days before the Colloquium started, guards from the Kenya Forest Service torched 30 houses belonging to the Sengwer. Hardly a promising setting for the Colloquium.

On its website, the World Bank describes the Colloquium as “historic”. The Bank reports that,

The opening day was marked by frank and promising exchanges between nearly 300 leaders of the Sengwer, Ogiek, Yiaku, Aweer, Kaya, Masai, Samburu, Illchamus and Endorois communities and representatives of the national and county governments.

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By Dean Puckett - First published on redd-monitor

Read more...When Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, visited Kenya earlier this month, he reportedly urged the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to sort out Kenya’s historical land injustices once and for all, specifically mentioning the plight of the “Sengwer of Cherangani Hills.” But despite the World Bank having ‘a word’ with its ‘client’, the plight of the Sengwer of Embobut forest has worsened dramatically. An indigenous community is being evicted from their ancestral land in the name of conservation.

I am currently filming a documentary about the Sengwer. As I write this I am sitting in a small town on the edge of Embobut forest. On Sunday 23rd November, I was heading up into Embobut from a settlement called Tangul which sits on the edge of the contested forest area.

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NOTE BY THE NRAN: The No REDD in Africa Network reminds the world that the World Bank project in the Cherangany Hills included REDD and that the forced relocation of the Sengwer People is indicative of the grave human rights violations, including threats to the cultural survival of Indigenous Peoples, that REDD projects can cause.

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Leaked document says World Bank violated its own safeguards in dealings with Sengwer people evicted from their lands
 
Read more...A leaked copy of a World Bank investigation seen by the Guardian has accused the bank of failing to protect the rights of one of Kenya’s last groups of forest people, who are being evictedfrom their ancestral lands in the name of climate change and conservation.

Thousands of homes belonging to hunter-gatherer Sengwer people living in the Embobut forest in the Cherangani hills were burned down earlier this year by Kenya forest service guards who had been ordered to clear the forest as part of a carbon offset project that aimed to reduce emissions from deforestation.

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March 12, 2014

 

DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE LETTER HERE

We, the No REDD in Africa Network (NRAN) together with the Sengwer Indigenous Peoples Programme and the undersigned 66 organizations and over 300 individuals, strongly condemn the massive evictions and forced relocation of the Sengwer Indigenous People, one of the few remaining hunter-gatherers of the world, from their ancestral home in Kenya’s Cherangany Hills. The Kenyan government calls the Sengwer People ‘squatters and or Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs),’ despite the fact that they and their ancestors have lived in the Cherangany Hills since time immemorial; and that Article (63d) of the Kenyan constitution (2010) grants them inalienable rights to their ancestral lands. 

Sengwer spokesman Yator Kiptum denounced the “disaster” carried out by a combined force of the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Administration Police, a paramilitary unit of the police, now evicting the Sengwer, destroying property and burning homes[i]. “The government of Kenya is forcing us into extinction," he said.[ii] According to international human rights law such as the Convention on Genocide, forced relocation of ethnic or racial minorities is a very grave violation and can constitute genocide.

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