Sunday, February 21, 2010

kia kaha Endorois community

Congratulations to the Endorois community and all who fought for this landmark decsion.

From The Vancover Sun
"Africa's top human rights body, relying partly on a Canadian precedent, issued a landmark ruling Thursday in favour of an indigenous group that has been fighting for justice since the Kenyan government forced them off their land in the 1970s to create a tourist-drawing game reserve.
The Endorois community -- approximately 60,000 indigenous nomadic pastoralists -- was evicted from its ancestral lands around Lake Bogoria in the rift valley and from the Mochongoi forest on the Laikipia plains in central Kenya some 30 years ago for the creation of game reserves and for ruby mining.
Cynthia Morel co-counsel on the case while working as the senior legal adviser to Minority Rights Group International, said it is the first time any international human rights body has given concrete effect to the so-called "right of development" that is included in the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. It is also the first time the concept of indigenous people, and accompanying land rights, has been recognized in Africa.
"This landmark decision marks the beginning of a new dawn, not only for the Endorois Community, but for all indigenous peoples across Africa,"
The ruling could have a ripple effect throughout Africa, because until now many African regimes have maintained that all Africans are indigenous and, therefore, no groups have special land rights, according to Michelo Hansungule of the University of Pretoria's Centre for Human rights in South Africa.
"It is the first time that an African institution is [defending] the weakest, poorest and most marginalized peoples," he told Canwest News Service, adding that the decision could alter land use decisions throughout the continent.
This is good news and kia kaha to the indigenous people of africa.

I have to say this story has been a bit of an eye-opener for me - I have never really known about this indigenous struggle in africa.

If everyone is indigenous then, isn't that the same in effect, as no one is indigenous?

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