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Rights activists lament Embobut evictions

20 February 2014, 09:20

Nairobi - Human rights activists have protested against the eviction of the Sengwer community from the Embobut Forest.

The protests come despite the communities receiving compensation from the government.

The activists said that Sengwer community’s rights had been violated in the manner in which they were being forcefully evicted and that the National Land Commission ought to be involved in the process being the constitutionally mandated body on land issues.

The evictions from the forest started earlier this year, at some point, houses were allegedly burnt down leading to a protest from area leaders and human rights advocates.

Human rights activist, Al Amin Kimathi, said he supported the community’s position saying that the government does not have to use force in conducting evictions.

“Use of force has been passed by time, it is important to go as per the dictates of the constitution and to use a leadership of the law and not a dictatorial one. Such a way of doing things will not be accepted,” said Kimathi.

An activist, Yash Pal Ghai, added his voice to the issue saying that the alleged injustices must be dealt with and people’s rights restored.

“Even though the constitution has that provision the government is creating new situations for injustice and we feel that this is extremely irresponsible of the government,” he said.

Ghai said that they had information the government had systematically ignored the National Land Commission by not giving it enough resources and not informing it of what it was doing regarding land issues.

– CAJ News

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