Stop Killing and Starvation of Samburu People in Kenya

Stop Killing and Starvation of Samburu People in Kenya

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November 20, 2009

For the past 8 months, the Kenyan government has carried out a brutal campaign of violence against the Indigenous Samburu People in north-central Kenya.

The most infamous attack took place in February 2009, when the Kenyan police reportedly sprayed a caustic chemical onto group of children, severely burning them. The children were hiding in the bush at the time, while the police “strafed the unarmed villagers with machine guns” from the air and “used clubs to beat them on the ground.” Following the cruel and unwarranted attack, the police confiscated 4,000 head of cattle–robbing the Samburu of their main source of food and wealth.

In the weeks leading up to this attack, “Government forces brutally shut down” several wildlife conservancies the Samburu pastoralists managed in collaboration with environmental organizations, explains Cultural Survival, who just received “reports of further air and land attacks on the Samburu by hundreds of Kenyan police troops during the week of November 16.”

Though unconfirmed, there have been reports that a Kenyan military officer has leaked documents suggesting this ongoing campaign is aimed at forcing the Samburu to abandon their way life.

The documents are said to explicitly mention the intent to “bring these people into the modern era” and show that the attacks, including the one just described, were planned months in advance.

PHOTO CREDIT: lionresearch

What You Can Do

To support the Samburu people, please send letters to government officials in Kenya, asking them to:

A list of contacts and a sample letter can be found at

We're fighting for our lives

Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.

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