Kenya: Govt Sets Up Multi-Agency Team to Review Eastern Mau Forest Cutline

21 September 2020

Nairobi — The Government has set up a multi-agency team to review Eastern Mau cutline, and conduct an audit so as to establish genuine settlers ahead of issuance of title deeds.

The resolution followed a meeting with the Ogiek, Kipsigis and other communities from Eastern Mau forest over land disputes.

The meeting was convened by Environment CS Keriako Tobiko, Interior's Fred Matiangi, Farida Karoney (Lands) and Charles Keter (Energy) following a directive by President Kenyatta to resolve long standing conflicts over land by December 11, 2020.

CS Matiangi who said the meeting was successful after receiving views from the representatives of the communities, also assured the communities of government's commitment in ensuring that they are settled.

Matiangi said the orders that were given by the African Court on their settlement will be followed to the latter.

"We have had a very successful meeting. We have taken their views and agreed to begin a journey towards the settlement of their problem of East Mau," said Matiangi.

In May 2017, the African court delivered a major victory for the Ogiek, recognizing the community's rights to the Mau Forest as their ancestral home, and their role in protecting it.

The ruling delivered in Arusha, Tanzania, where the court sits, followed repeated evictions of the Ogiek from their ancestral land in the Mau.

It also recognized the Ogiek's 'strong attachment' to the forest, their legal right to live on the forest land, their freedom to practice their traditions and deemed evictions to be disproportionate to conservation aims.

The government told the court it had accepted the judgment.

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