The African Court on Human and People’s Rights sitting in Arusha, Tanzania, has ordered the Kenyan government pay compensation to the Ogiek community, a minority group, of $1.3m (£1m) for material and moral damages.
Thursday’s ruling from the pan-African court follows its 2017 decision that the hunter-gatherers were entitled to live on their ancestral land in the Mau Forest and the government should not have tried to evict them.
The government had argued that the hunter-gatherers needed to be evicted to protect the forest.
But the court said the government had violated a series of rights of the Ogiek people, including the right to property and the right to practise their culture in the forest in western Kenya.
On Thursday, the court said that the violations alleged by the Ogiek established in 2017 remained unaddressed.
The judges also ordered that a community development fund be set up by the government and should be used to support projects for the benefit of the Ogiek in health, education, food security and natural resource management.
The Kenyan government was also told to recognise the Ogiek as an indigenous people of Kenya and take measures to mark out their ancestral lands and give them community titles over the land.
“This is a sigh of relief for the Ogiek community who have been waiting for five years since the main judgment,” community activist Daniel Kobei is quoted by the Minority Rights Group as saying.
“The main thing now is to talk to the Kenyan government to ensure that whatever the reparations judgment has ordered is complied with.”