Center for World Indigenous Studies
A Think Tank of Activist Scholars
Biodiversity Wars Donate Amazon Smile

Forced Sengwer People Evictions in Kenya: EU, WBnk, Finland Complicity

Published: May 24, 2018, Author: Rÿser Rudolph C.
Forced Sengwer People Evictions in Kenya: EU, WBnk, Finland Complicity

The European Union, World Bank and Finnish government’s donation of funds to the government of Kenya for a conservation program and watershed protection facilities renders them complicit in alleged genocide and cultural genocide committed by the government of Kenya against the 33,000 Sengwer people. Kenya began forced evictions of thousands of Sengwer people from their ancestral territory beginning in 2009 forcing the removal of an arrests of Sengwer from their forest homelands. Check the Presentation here. Sengwer families, elders and other inhabitants of the forest have suffered not only physical violence committed by the Kenya’s Forest Service, but Kenya’s government is showing itself to be a habitual violator of indigenous peoples through forced removals, harassments, and arrests.

By its actions against the Sengwer and other Indigenous peoples engaging forcible removals of peoples from their ancestral lands, arresting and killing, members the Kenyan government, Kenya’s officially designated leaders and the Kenya Forest Service have allegedly committed the crime of genocide and in particular cultural genocide and ecocide. Allegations must be submitted to the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights for violations of African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted in Nairobi, Kenya and that came into force in 2005. Kenya signed the Charter and is bound by its provisions and protocols.


Sengwer people eviction - Kenya's Army


NGO’s Reporting and Making Appeals:

The Center for World Indigenous Studies, Amnesty International, Forest Indigenous Peoples Network’s Sengwer Indigenous Peoples Program, Survival International, Forest Peoples Program and others have vigorously denounced Kenya’s transparent violence against indigenous peoples. So much so has the violence been committed without any provocations by the Sengwer in the Embobut Forest in western Kenya and other peoples such as the Ogiek peoples in the Mau Forest in the Rift Valley also suffering similar forced removals Kenya has been cited as guilty by one African court of violating the Ogiek people’s cultural and economic rights.

Amnesty International:

Amnesty International issued a detailed report we share here: “FAMILIES TORN APART FORCED EVICTION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN EMBOBUT FOREST, KENYA  2018

Yator Kiptum:

Yator Kiptum [the Sengwer Communities organization) issued a report republished by Survival International noting: “In 2014 the KFS and police evicted thousands of Sengwer from their forest homes, forcing many to live in caves or temporary structures.” (See Survival International: Survival, January 2018

Sengwer people eviction

The Forest Indigenous Peoples Network’s Sengwer Indigenous Peoples Program in Kitale, Kenya has been making a world-wide appeal for help to stop and reverse what may essentially constitute the crime of genocide and cultural genocide being committed by the Kenyan government. The more than 33,000 Sengwer originally located in their ancestral forest territory have been and are being forcibly evicted, arrested and harassed by the Kenya Forest Service with funding and support from the European Union, the government of Finland, the World Bank,

European Union:

The European Union’s 35 million Euros to the water conservation program to the “Kenyan government, counties and several government agencies” was suspended two years after the funding began even though the forced evictions by the Kenyan government had begun as early as 2009.

International Actions:

African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights

Kenya has been found guilty a year ago in May 2017 by the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights ( sitting in Arusha, Tanzania for violating the cultural and economic rights of the Ogiek from the Mau Forest in the Rift Valley for evicting the Ogiek from their ancestral lands. The case before the African Court had been originally submitted in 2009 and the unanimous judgement of the nine member court read by Justice Augustino Ramadhani charged the attorney for the Ogiek people to submit a plan for Kenya to pay reparations.

Sengwer & Ogiek Territory 2018-05-19

Sengwer & Ogiek Territory 2018-05-19

UN Conventions and Declarations: See below Kenya in violation.

Kenya’s forced evictions of the Sengwer people as well as other indigenous peoples from their ancestral territories is in direct contravention of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) and the commitments of UN members states (including Kenya) the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples Outcome Document (2014) as noted here. These principles and pledges solemnly agreed to by the Kenyan government have apparently become inoperable:

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007)

Article 8, para 1: Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture. (Article 8, 1.)

States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for “action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples,” or their cultural values; actions which have the aim or effect of dispossessing indigenous peoples of their lands, rerrirotires or resources and any form of forced population transfer (UNDRIP, 2007).

United Nations General Assembly Outcome Document (2014)

Para 4 … the commitment of UN member states to “respect, promote and advance and in no way diminish the rights of indigenous peoples, and to uphold the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”


You can read more about this in Amnesty International’s blog


Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

access here