Oct 21, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Mau forest evictions infringed children’s rights, E. African court told

In a moving statement, Aron Korir, a Standard Eight candidate at Koitabai Primary School in Narok District, told the East African Court of Justice how KFS officers stormed her classroom and sent her out.

-year-old boy was one of 5,000 students who filed a lawsuit in Arusha court in 2019, saying their rights were violated when more than 40,000 people were evicted from the Masai Mau forest by the government that year.

“There were 27 students (candidates) and we were all in the class. They came into our class and called to us to move and said we were in a forest. They did not use their weapons on us but we were scared of them and ran away, “he said last week in front of the bench, who heard the case.

When they fled, the school was ravaged. Some students were injured while walking. Via Zoom, the teenager turned to Judges Audace Ngiye, Yohane Masara, Charles Nyachae, Charles Nyawello and Richard Muhumuza.

He said, “We ran home, but when we got there, We found out that our homestead had also been burned down … my parents were also persecuted by KFS. ” would have disturbed a neighboring school in the midst of homelessness.

After he had reached 250 (out of 500), he could not attend secondary school because his parents had been evicted and he could no longer earn money from farming .

The case was brought by Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony on behalf of the children affected by the closure of 23 elementary schools in the area.

The children’s lawyer, Kimutai Bosek , argued that the KFS officials had at the violent evictions from settlements on former group ranks in N. Violates children’s rights in Arok County, which borders the Mau Forest.

“The destruction of schools violated Article 28 of Basic Education Act No. 14 of 2013, which gives a child’s right to free and compulsory education guaranteed, “said Bosek.

Governor Chepkwony had produced eight witnesses, including the boy who testified from Nairobi in a five-day virtual court session that ended Friday.

The governor said the court: “On or about the month of July 2018, the defendant (the Kenyan government) began a program of forcible eviction of civilians from their homes through its officials and / or agents, and in particular the Narok District Commissioner, a Mr. (George) Natembeya and to live in the cruelest, most terrifying, degrading, traumatizing and inhuman way possible. ”

Mr. Bosek argued that the displaced persons had legal title deeds issued by issued by the government and not revoked under the law.

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He also said that only three forests in the Mau complex in Narok were disclosed and not the area in question.

“Ol Pusimoru, Trans Mara, and Southern Mau forests were the only ones that were disclosed. The vast area of ​​the Maasai Mau allegedly invaded by the settlements remains imperforated, “he said.

He cited several documents, including the Prime Minister’s Task Force report on the Mau, which was published in the 2000s Years ago.

Failure to report meant the area was under the jurisdiction of Narok County rather than the national government.

The involvement of KFS, police, and other government agencies was involved therefore unlawful, he argued.

Prosecutor Oscar M. Eredi, however, asked the court to drop the case because the alleged acts did not reach the threshold required under Article 30 (1) of the Eastern Treaty on the African Community.

“The defendant vehemently denies the allegations contained therein and in particular rejects the allegations that the Kenyan government, through its security organs, in particular the Kenyan police, is a civilian en forcibly evicted from their homes, raped, physically tortured and destroyed d injured homes and property while violating children’s rights and generally acted in disregard of the law … “he said identified as Osotua Primary School.

The case has been postponed until next month.

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