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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 April, 2005, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Kenyan MPs demand land seizures
Maasai with their cattle
The Maasai are campaigning for their land to be returned
Kenya's parliament has unanimously backed a call for the government to seize all idle land and distribute it among those who have none.

The motion also urges the government to set a limit on the amount of land an individual can own.

Kenya's many different communities often clash over access to land.

During the debate, a minister said that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe was a hero to Africans for his policy of seizing white-owned land.

MPs said that unfair distribution was one reason why land clashes often break out.

As in much of Africa, these often pit groups looking for grazing land for their animals against farming communities.

Assistant Lands Minister Danson Mungatana said the government would present a new land policy by October, reports the Daily Nation newspaper.

At the end of last year, Maasai groups demanded the return of the land they said was seized from them during the British colonial era.

Much of this land is now in the hands of white farmers.

Last year, the government began repossessing land it said had been illegally acquired under the former regime of President Daniel arap Moi.

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