25/07/2017 6:20 PM IST | Updated 25/07/2017 6:57 PM IST

Indians In Kenya Are Now The '44th Tribe' Of The Country

The announcement came a few days ago.

AFP/Getty Images

Citizens of Kenya who are of Indian decent have recently become a part of the country's 44th tribe.

Welcoming the move of categorising an ethnic group that has been part of the country since the 17th century, President Uhuru Kenyatta called Kenya's Asian community -- that include people from origins in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan -- an integral part of the social fabric of the country.

"I do hereby recognise, proclaim and order, 1. That Kenyans of Asian Heritage constitute a Community that is one of the Tribes of Kenya; 2. That from now henceforth the Community of Kenyans of Asian Heritage are Kenya's 44th Tribe," Kenyatta was quoted by AFP as saying.

The AFP report said that while the latest Census in Kenya in 2009 found that 46,000 people belong to the South Asian community, other estimates suggest that there may be 35,000 more people from this particular community who don't yet have citizenship.

The Kenyan Asian community requested to be recognised through a petition earlier this May. The Sun Daily reported that activist Farah Manzoor has been petitioning the government for this for the past five years.

"The Head of State acknowledges that the Kenyan Asian's contribution to Kenya has its roots at the dawn of our Nation. On consideration of the petition, His Excellency the President opined that the petition merits action. In this regard, we are gathered here this morning to honour the requests by handing over the presidential proclamation that grants the community their wishes," Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i was quoted by Daily Nation as saying.

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