Tanzania Maasai Resist Forced Evictions

Wearing his traditional red shuka and holding a spear, Issac Loilet sat outside his Tanzanian mud hut to ponder his fate, as the government continued evicting his tribespeople from their northern ancestral land in the name of wildlife protection and tourism.

Like thousands of other Maasai community members here, Loilet constantly fears government intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detentions, ill-treatment, excessive use of force, and forced evictions.

“I want to tell the world we are enslaved people in our country,” said the 49-year-old father of five, who requested his name be changed for fear of arrest. “The government has forcefully taken our land, killed some members, and detained anyone who protests.”

For the last decade, the Tanzanian government has tried forcefully to evacuate the Maasai people from areas in northern Tanzania to make way for tourists, wildlife, and big game hunting. The Masaai mostly live in the Ngorongoro, Loliondo and Sale divisions of the Ngorongoro District in the northern part of the country, which they have long inhabited. Living among wildlife, the Maasai also live next to protected wildlife areas.

Source: Global Sisters Report

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