Dar es Salaam, 30 June, 2022 / 10:09 pm (ACI Africa).
The government of Tanzania has orchestrated the eviction of the Maasai from their ancestral land in a move that violates “existing agreements”, the leadership of the Catholic peace and charity foundation, Denis Hurley Peace Institute (DHPI), has said.
In an interview with ACI Africa, the Director of DHPI, Johan Viljoen confirmed the existence of “treaties and agreements” that have given the Maasai the right to settle in the neighborhood of “a World Heritage site” and faulted the government of the East African nation for going as far as using “live ammunition” in the eviction process.
“In Tanzania, the Maasai live in the Ngorongoro district on the eastern edge of the Serengeti National Park, a World Heritage site, one of the world’s leading ecotourism destinations. There are treaties and agreements and court orders with the previous government that have given them the right to their ancestral land”, Mr. Viljoen said during the Wednesday, June 29 interview.
Making reference to eye witness testimonies, the Director of the peace entity of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) said there was a reported case of police brutality on defenseless Maasai who were attending a community meeting regarding their possible relocation.
He said, “What we hear from our sources on the ground is that on the 9th of June the army showed up in Maasai villages and shot people with live ammunition.”