Kenyan hunter-gatherers in press conference with Bushmen

November 22, 2006

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Two members of the hunter-gatherer Ogiek tribe of Kenya will hold a joint press conference in Gaborone tomorrow, 23 November, with Bushman organisation First People of the Kalahari.

Date: Thursday 23 November
Time: 3pm
Place: Gaborone Hotel, Gaborone, Botswana

Kiplangat Cheruiyot and Mpoiko Kobei travelled from Kenya this week on a fact-finding mission to New Xade resettlement camp.

The Ogiek have spoken out before in support of the evicted Bushmen of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. In 2003 and 2004 they presented thousands of petition signatures to the Botswana High Commission in Nairobi, to mark the second and third anniversaries of the 2002 Bushman evictions.

'The heart of the Ogiek people goes out to our brothers and sisters the Gana and Gwi Bushmen… Brothers and sisters: do not let your persecutors make you forget who you are: no matter how far away from it you have been taken, the land and life your forefathers gave you belong to you. Be strong! You will see your land again!'

The Ogiek are one of the few remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in East Africa. They live in the Mau mountain forest, overlooking the Rift Valley. The Ogiek have suffered repeated evictions from their land, and their forest is threatened by loggers, settlers and tea planters.

For further information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]