African court’s landmark ruling gives hope to rural people across the continent

June 2017
Liz Alden Wily (The Conversation)

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has issued a landmark judgement for marginalised communities across Africa. It ruled that the Kenyan government violated the rights of the Mau Ogiek people by evicting them from their ancestral land in the Mau Forest complex. This is the first time the court has ruled on an indigenous peoples’ rights case or in a case with mass human rights violations indicated. All indigenous forest peoples in Kenya (c.135,000) will find it easier to advance their own claims for recognition as owners of presently classified “government” forests. The case has also given indigenous peoples throughout Africa resounding legal recognition that they exist and are due the support of international law.