The Nubians are an ethnic group indigenous to Sudan’s Nubia Mountains. Their ancestors were the ancient Nubia people, who spoke a Nilo-Saharan language. The Nubians have a long and illustrious history as warriors, posing a significant threat to African military systems. The Nubians were forcibly conscripted into the Kings African Rifle, a British colonial army that operated in the East African Protectorate during colonial times.
Following their loyal service to the British, the Nubians were relocated to Kibera, where they were promised ownership of the land. The Carter Commission Report, an official government document from the Ministry of Lands, stated that the Nubians were equitably entitled to the Kibera land to the exclusion of other communities. However, when the post-colonial state gained independence, the Nubians were not officially granted a legal title.
The issue of a collective title for the Nubian community in Kibera proved contentious in the post-2010 constitutional dispensation. Despite several official recognitions of the Nubians’ right to the land, the state has yet to grant them a collective title. Due to private sales, the Kibera land, which was once 4000 acres, has been reduced to 288 acres, leaving the Nubians concerned about their future and land rights.
The Nubians’ struggle for legal title to Kibera land exemplifies the difficulties that indigenous communities face in securing their land rights in post-colonial Africa. It is critical to recognize and respect the Nubian community’s history and rights, and to work toward a solution that protects and honors their land rights. Despite the fact that the Community Land Act of 2016 was passed, it does not address the Nubians’ right to Kibera land as an indigenous people. As a result, the Nubians are on the verge of being displaced or evicted from their lands.