Honey-hunting Ogiek tribe caught up in violence

January 30, 2008

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Leaders of the honey-hunting Ogiek tribe have reported that they are being targeted in the escalating post-election violence in Kenya.

An Ogiek leader said today, ‘We the Ogiek people have suffered police shooting, intimidations and threats…. Currently five of our youth have been shot and injured as hundreds of families fled their homes…. We cannot access food, shelter or medicines.’

There have been allegations of rape of Ogiek women by police, and Ogiek houses have been burned down.

The Ogiek are one of the few remaining hunter-gatherer peoples in East Africa. They live in the Mau mountain forest, overlooking the Rift Valley. They gather honey from beehives which they make from hollow logs and place in the high branches of the forest trees.

The Ogiek have been struggling for many years to resist eviction from their forest, and to protect it from settlers, loggers and tea plantations.

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