Home > IV Online magazine > 2022 > IV570 - July 2022 > Thousands of Maasai driven from their land in Tanzania


Thousands of Maasai driven from their land in Tanzania

Saturday 2 July 2022, by Collective

Save this article in PDF Version imprimable de cet article Version imprimable

In northern Tanzania, thousands of Maasai have had to flee their homes following violent interventions by security forces. The objective? Evicting the natives to create a reserve of 1,500 km² on the ancestral lands of the Maasai, for trophy hunting, “conservation” and safaris.

We quote an excerpt from the press release of the NGO “Survival International”, dated 13 June 2022:

Thousands of Maasai people have fled their homes and escaped into the bush following a brutal police crackdown on protests against government attempts to evict them to make way for trophy hunters and conservation.

On June 8 dozens of police vehicles and an estimated 700 officers arrived in Loliondo, N. Tanzania, near the world-famous Serengeti National Park, to demarcate a 1,500 km2 area of Maasai land as a Game Reserve. On June 10 they fired on Maasai protesting at efforts to evict them: at least 18 men and 13 women were shot, and 13 wounded with machetes. One person is confirmed dead.

Videos and photos widely shared on social media show a deadly and indiscriminate attack on the protesters.

Now, police are going house-to-house in Maasai villages, beating and arresting those they believe distributed images of the violence, or took part in the protests. A man aged 90 was beaten by police because his son was accused of filming the shooting. In one village alone at least 300, including children, are reported to have fled into the bush. A dozen people have been arrested.

The violence of the last few days is the latest episode in a long-running effort by Tanzania’s authorities to evict Maasai from their land in Loliondo for safari tourism and trophy hunting. The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Otterlo Business Company (OBC) — which runs hunting excursions for the country’s royal family and their guests — will reportedly control commercial hunting in the area.


If you like this article or have found it useful, please consider donating towards the work of International Viewpoint. Simply follow this link: Donate then enter an amount of your choice. One-off donations are very welcome. But regular donations by standing order are also vital to our continuing functioning. See the last paragraph of this article for our bank account details and take out a standing order. Thanks.