Photo Credit: Bradford Zak
Indigenous Maasai People Shot At And Displaced For Game 'Conservation' In Tanzania
Tanzanian authorities opened fire on the Maasai people in the Loliondo area, Tanzania. Video footage shows authorities shooting at the tribespeople in the country’s northern Ngorongoro district.
The violence against the Maasai also resulted in them being evicted from their land with the hope that the area can be used for conservation and trophy hunting. What has been dubbed as “lust for tourist dollars” has led to military style violence that has endangered many native to the region.
Over 10,000 Tanzanian Maasai are being evicted from their ancestral land which they have occupied since before the country gained independence. Allegedly, the Maasai were protesting against governmental plans to turn their land into a game reserve. This would essentially be taking their rightful land for trophy hunting. Local news reports state that the Tanzanian government intend to evict 70,000 people from the indigenous group to build the conservation site.
According to Climate Home News, Loliondo is a crucial area for grazing in the dry season because it contains the only permanent water point in the area.
Prime minister Kassim Majaliwa told parliament that despite police presence, the situation in the Loliondo region wasn’t dangerous. Despite this, many have taken to Twitter to express concern.
Opposition leader Tundu Antiphas Lissu of the Chadema party accused the Tanzanian government of “waging a violent war” against the Maasai.
“The international community has a responsibility to intervene & end these human rights abuses & hold the govt accountable!” read one of his tweets.
Human rights groups and campaigners reproached the Tanzanian government’s decision and actions. They continue to speak against it, commenting that forced evictions violates the East African Court of Justice injunction set in 2018.