Thousands of Masai expelled for safari hunting

A few days ago, thousands of Masai were ordered to leave their villages and lands. The purpose of the operation? Identify a new hunting area for luxury tourism in Tanzania. Indigenous peoples will no longer have the right to graze their animals there, let alone live there. Several international organizations are outraged and demand an end to this illegal eviction, which again paints a picture of the dangerous excesses of green colonialism.

It all started on June 8, when dozens of police vehicles arrived without warning in Loliondo, in the Arusha region north of the country. The 700 agents deployed have only one goal: to occupy 1,500 km of this land, which has been inhabited for centuries by the Masai people, to create a new hunting reserve.. The next day, the armed forces settled in five different places in the area and set up markers there to limit the area. When they leave the site after dark, Locals intervened to oppose the project : They remove the pre-determined boundaries and guard their land all night long.

Expelled with firearms and push

In the morning, agents do not return alone: With firearms, knives and tear gas, they violently try to evict the population.. At least 18 men and 13 women were shot, the report said Oakland Institute Think TankAnother 13 people were stabbed. The death of a police officer has also been confirmed.

According to the NGO Survival International, an elderly man from the Masai community was injured in the police firing. – Credit: Survival International

The violent evictions came after an unexpected decision by the Arusha regional commissioner’s government to convert 1,500 km2 of village land into a hunting lodge where no habitat or grazing would be allowed. Overall, the villagers of Olosokwan, Oloirian, Kirtalo and Arash will be evicted with a change in area usage, up to 70,000 local Masai! This is unheard of in human history. All with a commercial and tourism purpose: to spread death in this densely populated environment by many wild animals.

A completely invalid method

The move comes despite a 2018 ban from the East African Court of Justice. The court will deliver its verdict on June 22 to rule on the legality of expelling the Masai from their ancestral lands.. “DoneThe final decision is expected from the EACJ at the end of June, the government is ready to disobey the court order, Occupy the Masai’s ancestral lands and hand them over to the UAE royal family for the enjoyment of their preyIndicates its ruthless disregard for its citizens, international law and due process Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute, regrets.

According to the think tankThe move would actually benefit Otterlo Business Company (OBC), a UAE-based company. Special in organizing hunting trips for the royal family of the country and their guestsHe ” The company will control commercial hunting in the area, despite the company’s past involvement in several violent massacres, the burning of homes and the slaughter of thousands of rare animals in the area. “In addition to the Loliondo district, Lake Natron, Lokisale, Longido, Mto wa mbu and Kilombero will soon not allow permanent residents and cattle grazing,” the institute explained.

Thousands of Masai have already fled their lands to escape police brutality. – Credit: Survival International

Waiting, ” There are thousands of masai (Already) After a brutal police operation, they left their homes and fled into the bushes , The NGO condemns Survival International Which works in partnership with indigenous peoples to ensure their territorial rights. Joins Amnesty International Call And condemns an “e”Illegal eviction “,” Its scale and brutality are tragicIn its press release, the NGO nominated the Tanzanian authoritiesWHO “ The area should not have been given to a private company, whose livelihood depended on their ancestral land, without first consulting the Masai community.

Free, enlightened and informed consent

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Effective, International law requires the free, informed and informed consent of indigenous peoples when redistributing land. In a press release published on June 15, Dr.UN human rights experts say ” Serious concern The traditional Masai said of the continuous occupation of land and settlements, ” Deeply concerned by reports of live ammunition and tear gas use by Tanzanian security forces

Several people were injured in the firing by Tanzanian security forces. – Credit: Survival International

The police aggression in the service of the capital ” In the name of “nature conservation”, safari tourism and trophy hunting could threaten the physical and cultural survival of the Masai, ignoring the traditional role of the Masai in protecting their lands, territories and resources and biodiversity. “, They conclude earlierHe called on the authorities to stop the relocation plan and start peaceful talks with the local people.

Green Colonialism: A Threat to Indigenous Peoples

Wherever 80% of terrestrial biodiversity lives in indigenous areasThere are many who want to displace the local people behind the protection of nature. The number of so-called protected areas is increasingIndigenous distances are justified when promoting luxury tourism through safaris and game hunting. Superpower companies thus disguise environmental valuesEmptying it of its social component, to legitimize big killer commercial projects.

Landscape of Ngorongoro region. – Credit: William Warby (WikiCommons)

However, UN Special Rapporteur Victoria Touli-Corpus confirmed that Stewardship and protection of the world’s wildlife Already in good hands : ” They (local people) achieve at least equivalent nature conservation results with a fraction of the budget used for the protected area, which makes it the most efficient way for indigenous peoples to invest in themselves (…)

NGO Survival International, Which condemns for years the serious consequences of “green colonialism”, Calls on Masai and other indigenous peoples to be considered as local biodiversity experts and key partners in nature conservation.

L. Aendekerk

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