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Community alleges rights abuse; prejudice by State

By | April 20th 2009

By Osinde Obare

The Sengwer community in the Rift Valley has threatened not to participate in the population census scheduled for August.

Members claimed the community was not recognised as a Kalenjin sub-tribe and would, therefore, not take part in the exercise.

"We have told the Government that its failure to recognise us amounts to violation of the African Charter on Human and Indigenous Rights and the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights," said spokesman Jacob Tekeroi.

The Government has announced that electronic registration would be used to issue new identity cards before the census.

The Sengwer said they would only participate in the exercise if given a census code number.

Leaders from all the clans held a workshop organised by the Kitale Catholic Church Justice and Peace Commission at Sengwer Cultural Centre in Trans-Nzoia East District.

"The continued assimilation, marginalisation, oppression and discrimination have subjected the community to a lot of suffering," they said in a statement.

They demanded that they be listed among Kenya’s tribes.

The statement, read by Mr David Kiptum, claimed that members of the community were sidelined in State jobs and called on the Government to recognise them in all important decisions and functions.

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