Tanzania squeezes Maasai by seizing livestock, report says - Albuquerque Journal

Tanzania squeezes Maasai by seizing livestock, report says

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — The Tanzanian government is seizing livestock from Indigenous Maasai herders in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in its latest attempt to clear way for tourism and trophy hunting, a report released Thursday said.

The update from the Oakland Institute, a U.S.-based environmental think tank, found that the government forcefully confiscated some 5,880 cattle and 767 goats and sheep from the Maasai in November and December last year and is demanding that owners pay heavy fines. Those failing to pay have their livestock auctioned and moved away.

“Livestock is central to the Maasai culture and livelihoods,” Anuradha Mittal, executive director, The Oakland Institute told The Associated Press. “Losing cattle is therefore catastrophic for them. With this new tactic the government’s goal is clearly to drive them away from their ancestral lands.”

The government has remained adamant that the relocations will pave the way for safari tourism, conservation and trophy hunting for lions, elephants and other famous large species, aiding the country’s environment and economic development. It termed the Maasai’s displacement as “voluntary,” adding it would suit the lives of the semi-nomadic pastoralists.

But Mittal said the government’s assertions that the relocations would better the lives of the Maasai are “a blatant lie.” She added that the government “continues to prioritize tourism revenues over everything else, including lives.”

Previously the government has been accused of denying access to essential health services, grazing lands, water points and salt licks to compel the Maasai to move out of the area.

Salangat Marko, a herder from Ololosokwan village in Loliondo where pastures are being cleared, is worried for the future of his family.

“We are in a bowl of economic suicide,” he said. “A community depending on livestock without grazing land. I have cows with no grass and water. Herders intimidated and beaten … where do we go and what do we feed our children?”

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Maasai villages occupy a small fraction of the site, within the Loliondo commune.

In June last year the Tanzanian government was accused of using violence against Maasai people protesting their eviction, attracting heavy international criticism. But the Maasais suffered a setback when a regional court ruled in favor of the evictions.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, normally based in Gambia, is currently in Tanzania to seek information on the human rights situation for Indigenous peoples in the Loliondo and Ngorongoro areas.

Several Tanzanian human rights agencies have urged the commission to be impartial and organize confidential private hearing sessions with victims of the displacement and civil society organizations well away from ongoing state-sponsored efforts.


Associated Press climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Home » News » World » Tanzania squeezes Maasai by seizing livestock, report says

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
A stadium at Balloon Fiesta Park? City officials explain ...
ABQnews Seeker
A viable location within Balloon Fiesta ... A viable location within Balloon Fiesta Park has been identified as a possible site to construct a privately-funded soccer stadium for New Mexico United, ...
$4 million proposed for a new Unser Museum
ABQnews Seeker
Museum allocations are a point of ... Museum allocations are a point of contention as Albuquerque leaders wrangle over how to spend $200M in expected infrastructure money
Donald Trump indicted; expected to surrender next week
ABQnews Seeker
NEW YORK (AP) -- Donald Trump ... NEW YORK (AP) -- Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, a historic reckoning after years of investigations into his personal, ...
Isotopes get ready to begin 2023 on the road; ...
Featured Sports
For instance, Albuquerque boasts a new: ... For instance, Albuquerque boasts a new: manager, playing surface, video board -- which is still the biggest in the minors, btw
New Mexico has a sweeping new election law. Here ...
ABQnews Seeker
Legislation signed into law Thursday makes ... Legislation signed into law Thursday makes a host of changes intended to protect Native American voting rights in New Mexico. But it will also ...
The COVID-related era of continuous Medicaid coverage ends Friday. ...
ABQnews Seeker
Continuous enrollment - started at the ... Continuous enrollment - started at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic - automatically renewed coverage for people in the Medicaid program. New Mexico is ...
Police ID man shot in foot by officers during ...
ABQnews Seeker
Police have identified the armed man ... Police have identified the armed man who officers shot at — putting a bullet in his foot — before using a Taser to detain ...
Chef's kiss: 6 for-sale Albuquerque-area houses under $500K with ...
ABQnews Seeker
Check out these six houses with ... Check out these six houses with chef's kitchens on the market for under $500K in the Albuquerque area
Flix Brewhouse video shows man entering theater kitchen with ...
ABQnews Seeker
Security video from Flix Brewhouse last ... Security video from Flix Brewhouse last week shows a man carrying a firearm into the theater's kitchen, where employees confront him and wrestle the ...
What happened to the giant crane at Rio Rancho's ...
ABQnews Seeker
How closely did you follow the ... How closely did you follow the New Mexico news this week? Test your knowledge with our weekly quiz!