In a landmark decision this month, the African Union endorsed a 2009 ruling by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights which ordered the Kenyan government to restore the traditional land base of the Endorois People.
In May 2009, the Pan-African Commission found the government was guilty of violating the Endorois’ rights to property, health, culture, religion, and natural resources when, in 1973, they began to evict the population to make way for a national wildlife reserve and various tourist facilities. The eviction continued until 1986.
For nearly three decades, about 60,000 Endorois, who used to earn their livelihoods from raising cattle and goats, have been forced to live in an arid, poverty-stricken area of Kenya, largely dependent on food aid.
Human rights activists are hailing a landmark ruling by a pan-African body as a major victory for indigenous people across Africa. The ruling orders the Kenyan government to take steps to return land to a group of indigenous people forced out by the government in the 1970s from Lake Bogoria, one of the top tourist destinations in the country.