The intergovernmental organization declared that Britain was obligated to issue reparations parallel to the grave harm it inflicted on the Kipsigis people of Kenya in the early 20th century. The declaration further broke down the compensation to include restoration of land, compensation, rehabilitation and guarantees of non-repetition.
This ruling is a result of early petitions by Kerichoâ€™s Governor Paul Chepkwony since 2014. In 2018, he successfully lodged a complaint with the UN Special Rapporteur in Geneva.
The Human Rights Council acknowledged indeed that multiple indigenous people, especially the Kipsigis of the Talai clan, severely suffered gross violations of human rights including, sexual violence, torture, murder and untried detention, displacement among other atrocities.
Led by Major Pope-Hennessy, the British colonial government massacred 1,800 Kipsigis men, women and children of the Talai Clan.
However, one violation that stood out was the appropriation of extensive fertile agricultural land by international tea companies. The land, 90,000 acres, was confiscated and handed to white settlers through the Crown Lands Ordinance of 1902.
About 115,000 people were forcefully ejected from their ancestral lands by the British colonial army.
Those who were displaced were reportedly forced into reserves where they perished en masse due to diseases, attacks from wild animals and harsh climatic conditions.
In 2019, the National Land Commission intervened and called on the British government to admit their misdeeds including illicitly acquiring agricultural land and apologize to the Kipsigis. Moreover, Britain was asked to avail reparations.
The National Land Commission also dictated that land with expired leases would not be renewed without the concurrence of the Kerichoâ€™s county government where the land is domiciled. British multinational firms would also be required to lease land from the Kericho and Bomet county governments at commercial rates.
Additionally, the commission advised that the government should identify and acquire adequate and suitable land to resettle members of the Kipsigis. This would bring an end their perennial landlessness.
This would be done through the Department of Adjudication and Settlement, a subsidiary unit under the Ministry of Land.