For a very long time,the indeginous people have struggled to reclaim their ancestral land,in uganda they include the Benet, the Batwa although they are not recognised specifically as indigenous peoples by the Government of Uganda.

In an effort to reclaim their land,the East African Community assemblies of the indeginous people has been held as an indeginous women-led fora to unite the indeginous women specifically on the struggle to regain their land rights.

The second annual Assembly was held in Uganda and it lasted for four days from the 21st-25th of November 2022 as the first one was held in June Chepkitale,Mt. Elgon Kenya and it brought together the Ogiek of Mt. Elgon,Ogiek of Mau,Sengwer of Cherengany,Yaku of North Laikipia Constituency and Awer of Lamu others include the Benet of Uganda,Batwa of south western Uganda,Batwa of DRC among others.

Mr. Yesho Alex member of the Est African Indeginous people’s assemblies

The assembly boasts of several achievements registred so far and some of thek are that they’ve a joint force,They have so far presented their grievances at the Africa protected area conference in Kigali (led by the Mosop).The African commision of Human rights of Gambia thriugh which government was aked to disband the UWA act 2019 and Recorgnize the Benet ancestral land.

“Life is different here where we were resettled as compared to how it was in our ancestral land. Child marriages was never heard of,we had good cultural practices like twin birth seremonies and child naming amonth others,this is getting extinct because we’ve been scattered and we are gradually loosing our cultural norms”

Mr Paul Kipkoni alias Sbimbi from Sengwer,Kenya

Some of the major challenges they’ve faced is government failed to implement recommendations from internaitonal bodies but the group is determined to empower women through songs and exchange visits while sharing experiences.

An indeginous tree allegedly destroyed by UWA rangers

“We need back our ancestral land which was taken without our prior informed consent by Uganda government. Our indigenous trees are being extinct by UWA through timber logging, animals impounded daily, being impoverish by payment of 50,000 per cow, and daily human rights abuses done by UWA rangers. We can take care of our ancestral land.”-Chemutai David Coordinator Benet Mosop Indigenous Community.

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