Urgent Alert: New serious threats towards the Maasai people of Loliondo in Tanzania
According to reliable information received by IWGIA, the Tanzanian state is currently moving ahead to grab 1,500 km2 of ancestral and legally registered village land belonging to the Maasai Indigenous people in the Loliondo division of Ngorongoro District in northern Tanzania. This land grab will forcefully evict the Maasai from their land. This is happening despite the fact that the East African Court of Justice is expected to issue a ruling on this matter on 22 June 2022.
On 7 June 2022, a paramilitary group of around 700 people (mainly police, park rangers, military and other security forces) arrived in Loliondo to demarcate the 1,500 km2 area of land as a Game Reserve1. This land is the ancestral land of the Maasai people who have formalized land tenure rights to this land as per the Village Land Act No.5 of 1999. The demarcation of this land as a Game Reserve will effectively dispossess the Maasai people of their ancestral land since people and livestock will not be allowed to live in a Game Reserve.
The arrival of the paramilitary group immediately instigated social unrest and public panic among the Maasai since for a while now there have been rumors that the government will deploy a military unit to demarcate the land. The military force arrived in Loliondo without informing the public or local authorities, such as village chairmen or councilors, about their purpose, which increased the worries and panic among the community.