For the past 8 months, the Kenyan government has carried out a brutal campaign of violence against indigenous Samburu People in north-central Kenya, using their own police and military forces as well as government-funded mercenaries from Somalia. The most infamous attack took place in April, when military forces sprayed a caustic chemical onto group of children, severely burning them. The children were hiding in the bush at the time, while the military “strafed the unarmed villagers with machine guns” from the air and “used clubs to beat them on the ground.” In the weeks leading up to the 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.” According to documents released by a Kenyan military officer, the campaign is in large part an attempt to force the Samburu to abandon their way life. The documents explicitly mention an intent to “bring these people into the modern era.” They also showed the attacks, including the one just described, were planned months in advance. Then, in October, the Kenyan government announced it had awarded a set of 18 oil leases to Chinese companies. The lease areas are located within the Samburu’s territory.
Ahni “Stop Killing and Starvation of Samburu People in Kenya” November 20th 2009 http://intercontinentalcry.org/stop-killing-and-starvation-of-samburu-people-in-kenya/
Student Researchers: Delana Colvin, Shannon Cree, Anna Kung
Faculty Instructor: Kevin Howley, Associate Professor of Media Studies, DePauw University
Evaluator: Mandy Henk, Coordinator of Access Services, DePauw University