Residents of Kericho County sue UK Government

They have taken the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

[FILE] Kipsigis women

A section of residents of Kericho County have sued the Government of the United Kingdom over forceful eviction of the Kipsigis communities.

According to information reaching the news desk, the residents took the government to the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday, August 23.

In their submissions, the residents indicated their forefathers were tortured and displaced from their ancestral lands, now occupied by the likes of Unilever and Finlay's tea. However, the UK govt has declined to engage the suit directly.

The European Court of Human Rights, also known as the Strasbourg Court, is an international court of the Council of Europe which interprets the European Convention on Human Rights.

The court hears applications alleging that a contracting state has breached one or more of the human rights enumerated in the Convention or its optional protocols to which a member state is a party.

The European Convention on Human Rights is also referred to by the initials "ECHR". The court is based in Strasbourg, France.

The suit comes just months after more than 100,000 members of the Talai clan sent a letter to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge seeking reparations from the British government during the colonial era.

In the letter, the Talai narrated their frustrations in seeking justice for human rights violations. They specifically highlight instances of unlawful killing, sexual violence, torture, and arbitrary detention.

The members further detailed how they were evicted from their agricultural land around Kericho town and forced into exile in the Tse-Tse fly-infested Gwasii Hills in present-day Homa Bay County through the 1901 Talai Removal Ordinance.

In the letter, the members explained why they had resorted to communicating with Prince William, citing that he was their last hope.

"Despite our immense suffering under British rule, the British Government has refused to acknowledge this fact or meet any of us, let alone apologise," the group said.

In the letter, the group stated the Duke's relationship with Kenya as justifiable reason as to why he should be of help. "You proposed to your wife there and when your Grandmother became Queen, she was visiting Kenya - which at the time was one of the colonies."

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