Kenya: Laikipia Residents Want Compensation From Govt After Perennial Clashes

21 September 2021

Nairobi — A section of Laikipia residents now say that the root cause of the perennial skirmishes which are witnessed in the area is historical land injustices and violation of human rights.

Speaking at the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), the residents led by Lenana Majooli now wants the government to compensate them for the loss of their land, loss of property and lives over the years

"Having mutually and peacefully coexisted in the area for decades, we are deeply concerned by the recurrent developments in the area whose root causes mainly points to historical land injustices which have now been, manifesting in gross violation of human rights," he said

"We need compensation of all ranches that were taken in Laikipia by British government to be given back to the locals," he said.

They further accused the government of marginalizing and profiling some communities as bandits without delving into the real issues that lead to violence in Laikipia County which borders 7 other counties.

"We have been marginalized for long. Laikipia borders Nyeri, Nyandarua, Nakuru, Baringo, Meru, Isiolo and Samburu. When people come from Nyeri and Nyandarua or Meru they are called investors but when they come from Samburu and Isiolo they are called illegal herders, yet they are just pastorals in search of pasture for their livestock," Majooli said.

They outlined a raft of demands they want the government and its agencies to address including asking the National Land Commission (NLC) to initiate investigations on grabbed land within the next one week, Parliamentary Committees responsible for land affairs to lead a bicameral fact finding mission on the cross cutting issues in a weeks' time and the Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ) to investigate the conduct of criminal justice actors in Laikipia County for swift remedial action.

The Commission led by its Director Davis Malombe called on the government to provide a permanent solution to manage clashes in Laikipia adding that failure to, the commission will seek legal redress on behalf of the communities.

"We hope the government will take these issues seriously and at some point, the commission will work with the community so that we see if there are areas that can be resolved through court. So, if the government does not act accordingly, we will also find other ways of seeking remedies through other justice mechanisms both locally and internationally because this is completely crimes against humanity," said Malombe.

Skirmishes were experienced in Laikipia County since last month, leading to 8 deaths, loss of property and displacements of hundreds.

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