276/03 : Centre for Minority Rights Development (Kenya) and Minority Rights Group (on behalf of Endorois Welfare Council) / Kenya Summary of Alleged Facts 1. The complaint is filed by the Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE) with the assistance of Minority Rights Group International (MRG) and the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE - which submitted an amicus curiaebrief) on behalf of the Endorois community. The Complainants allege violations resulting from the displacement of the Endorois community, an indigenous community, from their ancestral lands, the failure to adequately compensate them for the loss of their property, the disruption of the community's pastoral enterprise and violations of the right to practise their religion and culture, as well as the overall process of development of the Endorois people. 2. The Complainants allege that the Government of Kenya in violation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (hereinafter the African Charter), the Constitution of Kenya and international law, forcibly removed the Endorois from their ancestral lands around the Lake Bogoria area of the Baringo and Koibatek Administrative Districts, as well as in the Nakuru and Laikipia Administrative Districts within the Rift Valley Province in Kenya, without proper prior consultations, adequate and effective compensation. 1 3. The Complainants state that the Endorois are a community of approximately 60,000 people who, for centuries, have lived in the Lake Bogoria area. They claim that prior to the dispossession of Endorois land through the creation of the Lake Hannington Game Reserve in 1973, and a subsequent re-gazetting of the Lake Bogoria Game Reserve in 1978 by the Government of Kenya, the Endorois had established, and, for centuries, practised a sustainable way of life which was inextricably linked to their ancestral land. The Complainants allege that since 1978 the Endorois have been denied access to their land. 4. The Complainants state that apart from a confrontation with the Masai over the Lake Bogoria region approximately three hundred years ago, the Endorois have been accepted by all neighbouring tribes as bona fide owners of the land and that they continued to occupy and enjoy undisturbed use of the land under the British colonial administration, although the British claimed title to the land in the name of the British Crown. 5. The Complainants state that at independence in 1963, the British Crown’s claim to Endorois land was passed on to the respective county councils. However, under Section 115 of the Kenyan Constitution, the country councils held this land in trust, on behalf of the Endorois community, who remained on the land and continued to hold, use and enjoy it. The Endorois’ customary rights over the Lake Bogoria region were not challenged until the 1973 gazetting of the land by the Government of Kenya. The Complainants state that the act of gazetting and, therefore, dispossession of the land is central to the present communication. 6. The Complainants state that the area surrounding Lake Bogoria is fertile land, providing green pasture and medicinal salt licks, which help raise healthy cattle. The Complainants state that Lake Bogoria is central to the Endorois religious and traditional practices. They state that the community’s historical prayer sites, places for circumcision rituals, and other cultural ceremonies are around Lake Bogoria. These sites were used on a weekly or monthly basis for smaller local ceremonies, and on an annual basis for cultural festivities involving Endorois from the whole region. The Complainants claim that the Endorois believe that the spirits of all Endorois, no matter where they are buried, live on in the lake, with annual festivals taking place at the Lake. The Complainants further claim that the Endorois believe that the Monchongoi forest is considered the birthplace of the Endorois and the settlement of the first Endorois community. 7. The Complainants state that despite the lack of understanding of the Endorois community regarding what had been decided by the Respondent State, the Kenyan Wildlife Service (hereinafter KWS) informed certain Endorois elders shortly after the creation of the game reserve that 400 Endorois families would be compensated with plots of "fertile land." The undertaking also specified,

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