Team seeks answers on United Kingdom's gross rights violations in Kenya
By Julius Chepkwony and Nikko Tanui
| August 5th 2021
United Nations Human Rights Council has written to the British government seeking answers on alleged human rights violations committed against the Kipsigis and the Talai in Kericho County.
A group of UN special rapporteurs expressed serious concern at the alleged lack of accountability and effective remedy for victims of gross human rights violations committed against the two communities.
The rapporteurs further indicated that they were concerned at the failure to adopt measures to establish facts and truth about the circumstances surrounding the alleged violations, including the identity of victims and perpetrators, the events that led to the violations and their impact on the affected populations and their descendants.
The special rapporteurs include Fabian Salvioli, Balakrishnan Rajagopal, Jose Francisco Cali Tray, Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, E Tendayi Achiume and Nils Melzer.
“We express serious concern at the alleged lack of accountability and effective remedy for the victims of gross human rights violations committed against the Kipsigis and Talai peoples in Kericho County in the context of the extensive evictions and land expropriation carried out during pre-colonial and colonial times in Kenya,” read the communication dated May 31 but made public last month.
Members of the Kipsigis and the Talai are alleged to have been killed, evicted from their land, raped and displaced by the colonialists. Over 50,000 persons belonging to the Kipsigis and the Talai were allegedly affected.
A 1932 Kenya Land Commission report that was adopted by the British government recommended that the latter should compensate the indigenous people for the loss of their land. This has never happened.
The rapporteurs expressed their concern on the failure of the British government to provide public apologies for the violations committed against the Kipsigis and Talai people.
The rapporteurs further said they were concerned about the lack of compensation to victims for the gross violations suffered.
The compensation, according to them, should aim at comprehensively addressing the multiple consequences and effects of the harm suffered by the victims.
In a bid to understand the case before them, the rapporteurs sought to be provided with information on the measures adopted by the British government to provide access to remedy to victims belonging to the Kipsigis and Talai people for the violations endured.
The rapporteurs want the British government to provide information on measures adopted to provide reparation to victims, including restitution of confiscated land and compensation.
The rapporteurs had given the British government 60 days to give its response.
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