Kenya's Ogiek tribe fights government to return home

Published: Sunday 31 December 2006

A San settlement (Credit: STEVE FELTON)Kenya's Ogiek tribal people, one of the last hunter-gatherer communities in east Africa, have joined Botswana's San people (or Bushmen) in their fight against the government to allow them return to their ancestral land.

Originally, the San people lived in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (ckgr). In 1997, they were relocated to settlements like New Xade, outside the reserve forest. According to the Botswana government, the drive was meant to set aside the protected area for wildlife and tourism development. A representative body of the San people, the first people of Kalahari, claims that the community was forcibly removed to make way for diamond exploration in ckgr. The San people launched a legal challenge against their relocation in 2002. Deliberation on their claim has already begun and a judgment is expected soon. Of late, several parties have joined their movement and warned the Botswana government of protests unless the demands of the San people are addressed soon.

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