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Governor welcomes resolution by UN to compensate colonial victims

The Kipsigis and Talai communities who hail from Kericho County and suffered great ordeal in the hands of the British colonialists, now have a reason to smile after the United Nations (UN) ordered the United Kingdom government to make a public apology and give a commensurate compensation to the communities.

In a statement made available to KNA, Kericho County Governor Prof. Paul Chepkwony lauded the UN resolution saying the Kipsigis and Talai, and other indigenous people, were subjected to gross violations of human rights such as inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary detention, arbitrary displacement and violations of rights to privacy, family life and property.

The Kericho Governor also thanked members of the two communities, Kipsigis and Talai for their patience and persistent prayers in the gigantic struggle.

“As I always say, justice will one day be served to our people no matter how long it will take,” said Prof. Chepkwony.

The case against the British Government seeking Justice for the Kipsigis and Talai communities was officially initiated in 2014 by Prof. Chepkwony on behalf of the victims.

A rigorous process of gathering evidence was conducted with the help of lawyer Kimutai Bosek and Queens Council Karim Khan, who is currently the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court.

“I wish to sincerely thank the legal team led by Counsel Kimutai Bosek and the Queens Counsel Rodney Dickson for putting up a spirited fight in pursuit of justice for the victims,” said Prof. Chepkwony.

In a letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the UN Human Rights Council expressed serious concern for lack of accountability and remedy for the inhumane acts, the failure of the UK government to establish facts on the victims and the nature of harm, as well as lack of reparations in accordance with international laws.

The UN was particularly concerned about the treatment of Talai clan who were forcibly exiled to Gwasi, in 1934 through the Laibon Removal Ordinance because they were deemed a threat.

In 1902, through the Crown Lands Ordinance, 90,000 acres of land in Londiani, Kericho County was confiscated and subsequently given to foreign settlers.

The Kipsigis who lived in the area were forcibly evicted without compensation and relocated to create “reserves” in Belgut, Bureti and Sotik, where families were kept as slaves with restricted movements.

By Kibe Mburu

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