Tanzanian authorities have come under fire for the violent eviction of members of the Maasai Indigenous community in Loliondo. Tanzania is turning an area of 1,500 sq km (580 sq miles) into a game reserve.
The Maasai people consider the area, on the eastern edge of the Serengeti National Park, as ancestral land essential to their livelihood of keeping livestock and survival. Demarcating the area exclusively for conservation activities essentially bans any human activities or settlement in the area.
Rights groups have expressed grave concerns about the treatment of indigenous Maasai people in Tanzania.
In a statement, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights strongly condemned the incident, urging the government to halt the continuing eviction and to open an independent investigation.
The African Commission has requested the government of Tanzania: “To ensure that any measures for implementation of the conservation area is carried out in full collaboration with and participation of the affected communities, including with guarantees for secure access to and use of resources on the affected territory by the members of the community”.