Kenya: Endorois win Major Victory for Indigenous Rights

Regions: Africa, Kenya

Issues: Indigenous peoples, Internally displaced persons

Tags: African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, government, indigenous peoples, kenya, mass eviction

On this page, you'll find the blog posts and videos that tell the story of this precedent-setting ruling in Africa. Join us in celebrating this historic moment!

Nearly 40 years after they were evicted from their lands by the Kenyan government, the Endorois community have at last won their case for justice in front of the highest legal authority in Africa.  On February 4 2010, the African Union (AU) endorsed an earlier ruling by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) that found the Kenyan government guilty of violating the human rights of the Endorois by evicting them from their lands to make room for a wildlife reserve in the 1970s. With the AU's endorsement, the Kenyan government is now legally obliged to compensate the Endorois and restitute their lands - a landmark victory for the Endorois and for Indigenous rights across Africa.

WITNESS partnered with Kenyan organization CEMIRIDE (Centre for Minority Rights Development) to produce a video that was presented as evidence for the case. 

"As an African, this is truly a landmark moment..."

[by Bukeni Waruzi, WITNESS Africa Coordinator]

"For me, as an African activist, this is truly a landmark moment, for three key reasons:
1) it shows that the African Commission and the African Union are making sure the rules are applied and respected as stipulated in African conventions signed by African countries;
2) justice is alive and, despite disruptions caused by political violence and disorder, Africans can trust their justice system - and this decision strengthens it;
3) this decision has an impact not only on Kenyam but serves as a precedent for cases brought by minorities in other African jurisdictions."
Continue reading »

A Long Walk to Victory for the Endorois

[A Thank You from WITNESS E.D. Yvette Alberdingk Thijm]

"...there are sweet moments where all that hard work, partnership, and passion results in a clear, undeniable and momentus victory that affects thousands of people.  This is such a moment and we want to share it with you.  We are simply overjoyed by this success - and honored to share it with the Endorois and CEMIRIDE - as well as fellow campaign partners Minority Rights Group International.  Take a moment to watch the Endorois story, a video that we will now gladly edit to include a new ending..." Continue reading »

Evidentiary video for the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

To view full size version click here

The African Commission accepted the Endorois' evidence that they have lived in the area surrounding Lake Bogoria since "time immemorial" and the lake was the center of their religion and culture, with their ancestors buried nearby. After being evicted from the fertile lands around the lake, the Endorois were forced to congregate on arid land, where many of their cattle died. This is the evidentiary video WITNESS and CEMIRIDE produced to bring the voices of the affected Endorois into the ACHPR courtroom. 

Rightful Place: Endorois' Struggle for Justice

To view full size version click here

In 1973, the Endorois community were evicted from their land by the Kenyan government to make way for a game reserve and tourist resort. From generation to generation, the community continues to struggle for reparation for their loss and restitution to their land. Yet, their efforts have been met by successive Kenyan governments only with denial, harassment and further eviction – this time to make way for mineral mining. 


The Endorois Decision just the beginning

this is a turning point not only for the entire minority group community the world over, but for the entire groups of people who have remained without guaranteed access and ownership rights to land. thanks all for the great effort. this should certainly serve to be a wake up call to various governments which have had a penchant for violating human rights for people under their sovereign jurisdictions.
God bless you all

Justice being done to Endorois Community

Many are happy and celebrates about the recent victory of Endorois community but I am little bit sad and scared of her future.Saddened by the past history about the harrassment and intimidation of this minority community by the Government for over many years.A land cabable of providing food for themselves, a land in a middle of milk and honey but community relies on WFP,UNCHR and other Wellwishers Relief foods and supplies(this is what they know how best and the pride of this nation), people who able to speak for themselves but there rights invringed and eroded by this beloved Government Agencies i.e the county council and Kenya Wild life Service but to whom much is given much is expected, ....if I should tell him to shut up then stone shall talk says the scriptures.Patience has a limit and a capacity to anything that has feelings and this is the limit beyond which we can take and sustained.I am still appealing for AU to closely monitor and support this Minority community to her maxims and sole dependency if not for the development of this community then for humanity.To the Endorois Committee, consult widely with an open mind but remember the eye do not lie, we are watching your eyes very critically and superiorly for the interest of the whole community at heart.

Considering how people lose

Considering how people lose their homes because of hurricanes or floods, some don't have anything to eat because of the drought, all we have is our rights. When those are taken away we don't feel human anymore. Good thing Kenya got its rights back.


Congratulations to all who made the ENDOROIS case a

To facilitators
It was very shocking that anybody who had a contrary opinion which could be important was not involved. I hope, in the final proces of engaging contensious issues with Government of kenya you will not use SELECTIVE HONESTY as it was in the first case. This a red FLAG that can render the whole proces useless if not looked at.

And to the Endorois Welfare Mangement Comitte leaders;
Subtle hints dont work, let me hope that you are true agents of change and DEMOCRACY. any hiden agenda will derail the journey to PROMISED LAND. STOP! and Check your oil Please.


congrats for endorois, very inspiring me...



I am one of the happiest man that now the endorois community are free from the exiles of kenyan government and that now they will have a sound on their ancestral land and lie in their land without fear of any neither the government or their neighbours .Thanks AU for what you did to the community.

i hate violators

I am a fan of Human Rights advocacy and what I've just watched is indeed a display of Human Rights violation. This is the reason why I am taking up Law here in the Philippines. I wanted to help lessen if not eradicate such violations.

Restoration of Land Rights to Endorois

We read with joy the restoration of rights to ancestoral land to the Endorois of Kenya. It is gratifying that at last, when all hope was almost lost, the AU rose to the challenge and did the right thing. The AU like its predecessor the OAU which left this case hanging, has had its own weaknesses, but there is time for everything. There was time for the harassment of innocent Endorois and time to restore their rights. This is a good precedent and the AU should listen to other silenced minorities and ensure their rights are protected, defended and promoted. Lest we forget, we have San people and pygmies in Zambia and other Southern African countries who need full care and support. And the Albinos are being slaughtered like sheep in Tanzania, Burundi and other nearby countries. We can't leave this battle to Tanzanian leader Jkaya Kikwete and UN Chief Ban Ki Moon. The AU should take a lead on these matters and it should not take close to 40 years for justice to prevail. Now that the Endorois case has been concluded, the AU should address other problems facing indigenous and tribal minorities, and other minorities like Albinos on the continent.