First Peoples Worldwide announced a grant of $7,000 that will enable Samburu leaders to train community members in human rights law and prepare them to more effectively defend their rights. See their press release below summarizing the urgent human rights crisis that has developed over the last few months, and please consider how you may support the Samburu people.
For Immediate Release: Samburu Tribe in Kenya Surviving Attack
With the financial and political support of organizations like First Peoples Worldwide and Cultural Survival, the Samburu people of Kenya are refusing to become conservation refugees.
Evicted from their homes in November 2010 to make room for the Laikipia National Park at the hands of U.S. based conservation groups like The Nature Conservancy and the Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF), tribal leaders are responding to severe intimidation and abuse from Kenyan police.
In the face of extreme crisis, rape, physical distress, land confiscation, and catastrophic torture, the Samburu are organizing now to assert their rights to remain on ancestral lands, even as the sales and evictions continue illegally. Current events are in direct opposition to recent court orders to former President Moi to permit the Samburu people to reside in areas identified in formal documents as sanctioned, culturally recognized indigenous holdings.
In response to an urgent plea for help from the Samburu people, First Peoples Worldwide immediately dispersed $7,000 to the Loiborkineji Self Help Welfare Group (LSHWG). With this grant, the LSHWG is in a financial position to begin outreach to educate members of the community on constitutional rights, push for recognition and assistance from local leaders, and mobilize individuals to utilize limited resources to resolve what has become a humanitarian nightmare. The LSHWG has scheduled monthly consultation meetings to train local members of the community in areas of human rights and document violations.
Pressure from U.S. based conservation groups have forced the Samburu to live in refugee settlements on the border of their homeland or relocate altogether for over one year. Their eviction took place when their land was sold by former president Daniel arap Moi to The Nature Conservancy and AWF.
Most recently, Kenyan police seized all livestock from the Samburu community living outside Elada Down, over 10,000 cows and goats. Once again, a large conservation group has singlehandedly motivated the illegal eviction and abuse of more than 3,000 Indigenous people.
The Samburu people continue to educate themselves about their options; Kenyan courts reconvene in 2012. Please contact First Peoples Worldwide or Cultural Survival (EMAIL Paula (at)cs.org) to learn about how to contribute to the Samburu people at this urgent time.
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