Monday, August 02, 2021

UK Fails to Apologise

 The British government has been criticised for failing to apologise and compensate members of two communities in western Kenya whose land was taken away during the colonial era.

A group of UN investigators - or special rapporteurs - have highlighted the human rights violations against the Kipsigis and Talai peoples in Kericho county that happened in the 19th and 20th Centuries. These included unlawful killings and sexual violence.

Over half a million people are estimated by the UN team to have been affected.

The special rapporteurs have also criticised the UK government for failing to "adopt measures to establish the facts and know the truth about the circumstances surrounding these violations".

They sent their report to the government at the end of May and gave them 60 days to respond. That time has now elapsed and there has been no response.

"It has been very difficult to feel ignored for so long by the British Government for the terrible things they did to us," Dickson Sitienei said on behalf of the victims.

"We have been fighting for our voices to be heard for many years and if the British Government think we will forget what they did they are wrong. We cannot feel free until they acknowledge what they did, this is the only way forward."

Vast tracts of land in the region are now being used by various British and multinational tea corporations including Findlay’s, Williamson Fine Tea and Unilever.

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