• Indigenous peoples in Tanzania

    Indigenous peoples in Tanzania

    Tanzania does not recognise the existence of indigenous peoples, even though Tanzania is home to 125-130 different ethnic groups.
  • Peoples

    125-130 ethnic groups, falling mainly into the four categories of Bantu, Cushite, Nilo-Hamite and San, live in Tanzania.
  • Current state

    2015: New government in Tanzania elected. A few months after indigenous peoples found themselves the victims of government actions.
    2016-17: Evictions of indigenous peoples in Kilosa, Mvomero and Morogoro Vijijini districts.
  • Rights

    There is no specific national policy or legislation on indigenous peoples.
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  • Deadly violence targeting Maasai & Datoga citizens in Tanzania must end

Deadly violence targeting Maasai & Datoga citizens in Tanzania must end

IWGIA recently published a briefing note calling for urgent action to halt the deadly violence targeting Maasai and Datoga citizens in Tanzania.

Maasai and Datoga citizens living in the Morogoro region of Tanzania were recently victims of deadly, ethnic violence. According to local media, the assaults were instigated by public figures interested in acquiring land, and state authorities have not intervened to protect Maasai citizens. Police protection has instead been given to others who are illegally cultivating officially registered Maasai land.

Due to ongoing assaults, Maasai living in the region are frightened to be in public. They are not receiving health care, attending school and university, or carrying out usual economic activities. Despite appealing to district, regional and national authorities, no protection or recourse to justice has been provided to the affected Maasai citizens or communities to date.

The most recent attacks have been occurring since mid-January 2015, and follow years of poor governance in the Morogoro region. Illegal evictions, dispossession of Massai citizens, and human rights violations have become daily life for indigenous people in the area. Serious concerns were recently voiced in the Tanzanian Parliament, and it is feared that the attacks could descend into ethnic based violence and spread across the country.

Continued violence threatens stability and peace in Tanzania

The brief calls for urgent action to halt the violence in the Morogoro Region and to put a stop to the current culture of impunity. It states that without strong and public action from the highest levels, Maasai and Datoga citizens will continue to be stigmatized and the prospective of nation-wide violence will remain a threat to stability, development, and peace in Tanzania.

IWGIA Brief: Ethnic violence in Morogoro region in Tanzania is informed by civil society organizations, official records of the Tanzanian Parliament and the media. It provides a review of the violent and often deadly attacks on Maasai citizens from the area, committed in early 2015, and offers recommendations to duty bearers and other stakeholders, which aim to stop the violence.



IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. Read The Indigenous World.

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