Forced evictions of members of the indigenous Masai community in Loliondo, Northern Tanzania, have started again.
According to the partners of UNA Finland in the area, the destruction of homes of Masai pastoralists in Loliondo begun on the 13th of August and is still ongoing.
Our partners report of serious human rights violations: some 250 homesteads (bomas) and over 100 houses have been burned, up to 20 000 people have been displaced, over 100 people have been arrested, and a lot of property has been destroyed. In addition to that, hundreds of cows are locked-up in Kleins gate rangers post for over a week now and they are being held without water and pasture. It is reported that already over 260 cows have died and many of those still alive are in so weak condition that they can’t walk anymore.
According to reports, in connection with the forced removals, park rangers from Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, assisted by the local police from Loliondo, have harrassed, beaten and even shot at people, who have not left their burnt homes and bomas. Around 60 people have been seriously injured – including a 9-year-old girl, who was beaten unconscious, and a 12-year-old boy, who was shot in the leg.
Access to water sources for humans and cattle has been hindered by the police and water sources are not accessible any more, particularly in Enaibor soit, Olchoro-Oibor and Emungushi.
Exact numbers of all losses are not yet available due to the ongoing situation, remote location and long distances in the area.
Last year people defending the rights of the community were arrested on several occasions, but the charges were dropped in court. After that the community had hopes of the situation getting better. Instead of that, the forced evictions and violence started again unexpectedly and brutally.
All the affected homesteads are situated on village land per Village Land Act No.5 of 1999, which means the land is legally owned and managed by the residents of local villages and it is not protected area. Therefore the actions of the rangers and the local police are illegal and must be stopped immediately.
Olosho - a short video by Masai community members in Loliondo about the previous forced evictions.
Numbers of people displaced, arrested and hurt updated on 4th of September.