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Wajir, Kenya: Efforts by multinational oil companies carrying out oil and gas exploration in Wajir to have a pastoralist communities evicted have been dealt a blow after the High Court suspended the eviction.

The case was filed under a certificate of urgency by 21 people including former Wajir West MP Ibrahim Ali Hussein. Justice George Odunga (right) yesterday ruled that the status quo maintains, meaning that the Ajuran community will not be evicted from their grazing land until the case is determined.

The minority community in North Eastern Kenya had filed a fresh suit challenging oil and gas exploration in Wajir, claiming that the two companies prospecting for oil and gas in the area will spark conflict among area communities by alienating grazing land.

The Ajuran had filed a similar suit against a Canadian firm, Taipan Resources, last month claiming it had barred the community from grazing in Badada where blocks 2B oil reserves are located.

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In the case lodged against Taipan and Lion Petroleum corporation yesterday, the court heard that both the Government and the private entities had failed to provide benefits accrued from the Badada well and Quoftu Blocks. The Ajuran, represented by lawyer Mohamed Bulle, wanted oil and gas exploration stopped until the case is heard and determined.

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