Amidst Government Terror and Lawlessness, the East African Court Fails to Deliver Justice to the Maasai of Loliondo
Posted on Oct 03, 2022
On 30th September 2022 in Arusha, the East African Court of Justice delivered its ruling in Reference No. 10 of 2017 Ololosokwan Village Council & 3 Others versus the Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania.
The case was so very clear that it seemed impossible that the Maasai would not win, and the judges seemed to have understood. Still, the ruling was “dismissed for lack of merits”. The court argued that the applicant villages failed to prove that the mass arson operation in 2017 was carried out on village land and not in Serengeti National Park, as was the lie by the government (respondent) witnesses in 2018, after the attorney general in the initial response from November 2017 had lied that the 1,500 km2 would have been declared a protected area, which is what Minister Pindi Chana – illegally – did on 17th June this year. The court seems not to have noticed this glaring discrepancy between the attorney general (respondent) and the respondent’s witnesses.
|TANAPA's map from the 2017 operation clearly shows that an overwhelming majority of bomas were illegally burned on village land.|
The lawyer Joseph Moses Oleshangay tweeted, “The case has been dismissed. I believe the three months’ time delay was meant to rewrite the decision. No other means can explain more than 90 days delay.”
In this blog post:
Reference No. 10 of 2017
Illegal annexation to Ngorongoro Conservation Area and recent violence there
The date was first scheduled for 22nd June 2022, but twelve days before that, the Tanzanian government, in brutal contempt of court, violated interim orders (issued by the court on 25th September 2018), after - except for one who fled - abducting all councillors from affected wards (they are still locked up on bogus “murder” charges), sent in heavily armed security forces that in clouds of teargas and shooting live bullets started to demarcate as a protected area the 1,500 km2 of vitally important grazing land, which is what Otterlo Business Corporation (OBC), that organizes hunting for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, for years has lobbied for. Then followed a violent hunt and arrests of those suspected of sharing pictures of the attack. Thousands fled, many seeking treatment for injuries, and many are still refugees across the border in Kenya. Ministers and government officials kept landing in Loliondo, military style, to pose with boundary beacons, tell lies, and issue threats. Mass arrests of people deemed to be Kenyan followed. Houses were destroyed. Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA) rangers, while the dry season was deepening, started seizing cattle on the illegally demarcated land, demanding extortionate “fines” from the Maasai. In Ormanie on 27th June, TAWA rangers shot livestock to death. The approximately 80 years old Oriais Oleng'iyo was last seen on 10th June with bullet wounds and detained by the Field Force Unit. (See previous blog posts for more details about the current crime).
Meanwhile, as they had already been doing for months, government representatives, notably Minister Damas Ndumbaro, were lying to foreign diplomats that the 4,000 km2 hunting block, the whole of Loliondo division and parts of Sale division of Ngorongoro District, that’s legally registered village land and contains the district headquarters, would somehow have been a protected area since the 1950s. They lied that they are generously gifting the encroaching Maasai with 2,500km2, and that the demarcation was “participatory”, which spineless diplomats applauded, knowing that all ward councillors were illegally locked up in remand prison. This violent and illegal demarcation is an even worse threat than the mass arson of 2017, and the Tanzanian press is now more useless than ever.
On 28th September, the day before the ruling was scheduled for the second time, at the inauguration of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) Board, Minister Pindi Chana took her crime a step further and announced that the illegally demarcated 1,500km2 in Loliondo had been placed under the management of the NCAA. She also stressed how important it is to boost tourism traffic to 5 million by 2025.
On 21st June, the day before the ruling was first scheduled, the court shockingly announced that due to “unavoidable circumstances” it had been postponed to September. Eventually, the new date was set for 29th September, but on the 28th, there was yet another last-minute postponement, this time to the 30th. The postponements created suspicions that something wasn’t right at all and when the ruling finally was to be read, the court ordered journalists to be stopped from recording. The recording of an immediately preceding Burundian case had been permitted, so it very much looked like the court was to do something shameful with the Loliondo case. The journalist Odero Odoro spoke up against the order by the court, which was surprisingly brave for a Tanzanian journalist in this year 2022.
The reading of the ruling had a good start asserting that the court has jurisdiction over the matter and that it wasn’t necessary to first exhaust Tanzanian courts. Even better is that the ruling establishes that it’s common ground between the parties that the applicants are registered and certified villages with titles to land adjoining Serengeti National Park. This is what a cavalcade of government representatives, during the current brutal and illegal demarcation, madly lying, are denying.
The failure to deliver justice is all based on that the court determines that the Maasai applicants failed to prove that the 2017 evictions were carried out on village land and not in Serengeti National Park, as testified by the respondent’s witnesses. The testimonies are considered contradicting and insufficient – but nowhere does the ruling mention that the attorney general in the response from November 2017 is, albeit in the misleading lingo of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, quite clearly saying that the evictions took place outside the boundaries of the national park. Even the court’s own interim orders aren’t referred to in any way. Injuries and losses are not addressed in the ruling.
The court only considers the testimonies of the Maasai witnesses that were cross-examined, while disregarding several other witnesses who filed affidavits in court. The only thing the court has to say about the Kenyan geospatial expert witness, Dr. Cesare Mbaria, is that – without stating what law requires it – he did not possess a Tanzanian work permit. This seems more like the style of a petty DC than of judges in the EACJ.
For five years now I’ve been screaming that the perpetrators’ own documents show that the mass arson was committed on village land. The court mentions that some witnesses say one thing or other about the then DC Rashid Mfaume Taka’s notice, without referring directly to this very official document.
- The notice dated 5th August 2017 orders livestock and housing to be removed from “ndani na mpakani mwa Hifadhi ya Taifa Serengeti” (inside and bordering Serengeti National Park) or they will be removed by force by the Ngorongoro and Serengeti district security committees, and a special force from the national park and NCA. There is only national park and then there is village land, so this is very clearly an illegal order.
- On 17th August 2017, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism issued a press statement. Quoting the DC, the statement says that the operation in Loliondo Game Controlled Area is to take place on a 90 km stretch from north to south and with a width of 5 km (obviously village land), “kwa upande wa mpaka wa Pori Tengefu Loliondo zoezi litaanzia kaskazini hadi kusini urefu wa kilometa 90, na upana wake utakuwa kilometa 5”.
- In the viciously anti-Loliondo Jamhuri newspaper on 12th September 2017, the DC is quoted as saying that 89 bomas had been burned inside Serengeti National Park and 241 in the 5 km “border area” (village land) and that GPS coordinates have been taken for all of them.
- TANAPA’s map “Livestock and Bomas Evacuation Exercise August 2017” very clearly shows that an overwhelming majority of bomas were burned on village land. The minority inside the park were in a somewhat disputed area where some Maasai had been living for years under a special non-official arrangement with rangers. (See above).
- During the illegal mass arson operation in 2017, then Minister Maghembe was all over media with the map from OBC’s rejected draft district land use plan from 2010, lying that the 1,500 km2 had already been turned into a protected area – which is what was illegally demarcated and gazetted on 17th June 2022. Meanwhile, the DC was saying that PM Majaliwa was still to decide on the area, while in no way trying to hide the fact that the operation was taking place on village land. His version was to claim that people were entering the national park “too easily” and apparently this was seen as a valid reason for the invasion of village land and massive human rights crimes.
Further, why would the Ngorongoro DC order evictions from Serengeti National Park? The boundary between the national park and village land is at the same time the boundary between the Arusha and Mara regions, so why wasn’t it ordered by the DC of Serengeti District or the RC of Mara Region?
The judges were Monica K. Mugenyi (principal judge), Audace Ngiye, and Charles Nyachae. Kenyan Maasai have alerted me that Nyachae's father grabbed 10,000 acres of strategic dry season grazing land from Maasai in Kenya and was sued by a Maasai NGO. The feeling of the Kenyan Maasai is that Nyachae was the wrong person to adjudicate the case because he has had a legal battled with Maasai over land that was illegally acquired and must have used the case to get even with the Maasai.
Justice Mugenyi was not present at the reading of the ruling. It was presided by Nyachae, Ngiye, and the judges Richard Muhumuza and Richard Wejuli, who didn’t mention their particulars. Wejuli and Muhumuza never presided during the hearing of the case. Reportedly, there was one more unknown judge.
|The judges. Nyachae 2nd left.|
Since they could not risk being arrested, none of the village chairmen were present in court.
Anyway, the ruling can only be described as stupid and cruel, and the strange postponements stink terribly. The most lenient interpretation is that a second chance has been served on a platter for making a better job and win the appeal. Though this is a quite callous treatment indeed of the traumatized and terrified Maasai. Still, I haven’t heard one word opposing the appeal that is certain to be filed - as Advocate Esther Mnaro explained outside the court after the ruling. A new case against the Tanzanian government for the current brutal crime with lawless demarcation was also filed on 16th August.
France 24, DW, BBC, The East African, The Citizen, L’Osservatore Romano and others quickly published news articles, obviously without reading the ruling, painting an incorrect picture of that the court would have upheld the land alienation, when the ruling was that the Maasai have not provided evidence that it took place. Apparently, the misinformation comes from Agence France-Presse. A statement by the Oakland Institute concluded that, “The court’s failure to provide justice makes it imperative that the international community exhausts every possible avenue to hold the Tanzanian government accountable.” Pan African Lawyers Union issued a press release and tomorrow a press conference by the Kenya Human Rights Commission and the Loliondo community will be held in Nairobi.
Reference No. 10 of 2017
Reference No. 10 of 2017 Ololosokwan Village Council & 3 Others (Kirtalo, Oloirien and Arash Village Councils) vs the Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania was filed on 21st September 2017, during the illegal mass arson operation on village land in Loliondo, officially ordered by then DC Rashid Mfaume Taka. The applicants have been represented by a team of lawyers from Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), led by Don Deya and the human rights lawyers Jebra Kambole and Yonas Masiaya Laiser.
A similar mass arson crime, in which 7-year-old Nashipai Gume was lost and not found ever since, hundreds of bomas burned, and livestock dispersed in a terrible drought, had been committed in 2009, and for years it was thought that such an atrocity could never be repeated. In 2011 the Maasai defeated a draft district land use plan, funded by OBC – when it was strongly rejected by the Ngorongoro District Council since it had proposed OBC’s wished for alienation for a protected area of their preferred 1,500 km2 hunting area that is vitally important grazing land to the Maasai.
The threat against the 1,500 km2 was in 2013 brought back by then Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Khamis Kagasheki via vociferous lies that the whole 4,000km2 hunting block (that includes two towns, district headquarters, hospitals, forests, a private nature refuge fraudulently and violently claimed by Thomson Safaris, and agricultural areas) was a protected area that had been encroached, but that the government out of love would give the Maasai 2,500 km2. This threat was stopped when the Maasai protests were joined by both opposition and ruling party, and then PM Pinda declared the obvious, that the land was undoubtedly village land and Kagasheki should stop his threats.
Divide and rule increased and then repression in the ever-present local police state worsened. By 2016 local leaders were so weakened through intimidation, including lengthy illegal arrests, and malicious prosecution, that they sat in a select committee ordered by PM Kassim Majaliwa via Arusha RC Mrisho Gambo, which agreed to a sad compromise proposal that the Maasai had earlier been able to resist. While waiting to hear from Majaliwa, the Maasai were attacked by the unexpected and brutal illegal operation of 2017.
On 13th August 2017, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area rangers, assisted by OBC rangers, TAWA/KDU anti-poaching squads, local police, and others set fire to five bomas in Oloosek, on village land and far from the national park. The illegal operation would go on for over two months and hundreds of bomas were razed from Ololosokwan to Piyaya 90 km further south – most intensely between 13th and 26th August, but with scattered arson attacks well into October - there were beatings, rape, illegal seizing of cattle, and herders were illegally arrested. Village centres became congested with people and animals. Those returning after the arson were brutally beaten by the rangers who also destroyed makeshift shelters and blocked access to water sources.
The illegal operation of 2017 was stopped on 26th October, a few weeks after Maghembe, in a cabinet reshuffle, was replaced by Kigwangalla who became an instant hero when he not only stopped the crime but said that OBC would have to leave the country before January 2018. However, OBC never showed any sign of leaving and on 6th December 2017, PM Majaliwa declared that they were staying. He also announced his decision which was terrifying, but so vague that nobody understood exactly what it meant. The OBC-friendly press (the Jamhuri) was celebrating. A legal bill was to be introduced to create a special authority to manage the land, which was delayed, and a legal bill has still not been seen.
The Tanzanian government side (Attorney General) had initially tried to stop the case in the East African Court of Justice via a preliminary objection that the villages could not sue the government, since they were part of this same government. This objection was dismissed by the court on 25th January 2018.
On 9th November 2017, the government side responded by lying that the area affected by the 2017 operation would already be the kind of protected area that was proposed in the rejected 2010-2030 land use plan, and that OBC (and others) have continued lobbying for, but this didn’t prevent them from at the hearing on 7th June 2018 change their lie to claiming that the 2017 operation would only have taken place inside Serengeti National Park. Not even the fact that the DC’s order, the statement from the ministry, and TANAPA’s map all clearly showed that village land was invaded could stop them from making up this lie. The court requested applicants and respondent to produce expert witnesses that could testify about the boundary of the national park.
The last week of May 2018, efforts to derail the case moved on to an intimidation campaign against leaders and common villagers in the villages that had sued the government. There were multiple arrests and summons to the police station, and these illegal efforts terrified and silenced everyone. Nobody dared to speak up about this abuse, except Don Deya, the lead counsel of the applicant villages.
The village chairmen were summoned to the police station and questioned on why they sued the government, on who gave them the authority to do so, and on whether they had the unequivocal support of the villagers to sue. When they presented evidence in the form of meeting minutes from the respective villages, they were accused of having forged these. The chairmen of the villages of Ololosokwan, Kirtalo, and Arash were arrested and released on the condition that they present themselves at Loliondo police station every Friday, which effectively prevented them from attending a hearing in Arusha on 7th June 2018.
On 25th September 2018, there was finally some good news when the court delivered its ruling on Application No.15 of 2017, and issued interim orders restraining the respondent from any evictions, burning of homesteads, or confiscating of cattle, and from harassing or intimidating the applicants.
The injunction was soon brutally violated. In November and December 2018 soldiers from a military camp that had been set up in Olopolun in March the same year (and that was eventually made permanent) tortured people, seized cattle and burned bomas in Kirtalo and Ololosokwan. This was, at that time, the lowest point ever in the land rights struggle and I have still not understood how it could happen without anyone at all speaking up. Local leaders claimed to fear for their lives and thought that the brutality was directly ordered by President Magufuli. The applicants applied for a site visit, which was dismissed by the court. When RC Gambo in January 2019 condemned the crimes in a very vague way, the leaders changed to thinking that OBC’s director had directly contracted the soldiers.
In December 2018, the witnesses from the government side – DC (at the time) Rashid Mfaume Taka, DED Raphael Siumbu, park warden Julius Francis Musei, geographical information system officer Alli Kassim Shakha, and sadly even wildlife officer Nganana Mothi – swore affidavits claiming that the 2017 mass arson operation would only have taken place in Serengeti National Park. This was quite outrageous perjury when it was the DC himself who on 5th August 2017 issued the order for the illegal invasion of village land and had been quoted about it both in a statement from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and in the OBC-loyal press. As said, a map from TANAPA, used by the attackers during the operation, also clearly shows that most bomas were burned on village land.
In the EACJ on 5th March 2019, the applicants had to ask for an adjournment, since they hadn’t been able to find an expert witness in time. There was a postponement until 5th November the same year when two villagers from Oloirien were cross-examined by the state attorney and then the hearing was again postponed.
2019 had started with more illegal arrests for the sake of intimidation, but there were finally some promising developments when OBC’s director Isaack Mollel was arrested on economic sabotage charges and OBC toned down (they never left and Mollel was never fired) their activities on the ground, but the local police state wasn’t dealt with and after a lengthy stay in remand prison Mollel was out, and after a while back to work. Speculations about Mollel’s misfortune include his clashes of egos with Kigwangalla and Gambo, and Magufuli wanting to send a message to OBC’s old friend Abdulrahman Kinana (and to Bernard Membe) that nobody is untouchable.
In September 2019, a genocidal zoning proposal for Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which included the proposal to annex most of the 1,500 km2 in Loliondo and turn it into a protected area allowing hunting was presented. This Multiple Land Use Model review proposal was met with countless protests from every kind of group of people from NCA, but near silence from Loliondo.
On 28th January 2020 the case was up again for hearing. This time the court granted the applicants an adjournment, since they had to find a new geo-spatial expert after the expert they had earlier found, a Tanzanian from Ngorongoro, was no longer able to continue as expert witness, due to safety issues for himself and his family. A Kenyan was found.
On 10th July 2020, there was a hearing for further cross examination via video conference, but it was quickly adjourned, since the respondent’s counsel complained that they had not been served the affidavit with annexures from the applicants’ geospatial expert witness until the day before the hearing, and therefore wanted the court to disregard this evidence. After much pleading by the applicants’ counsel the court ruled that it would adjourn the matter to allow the respondent's counsel time to go through the evidence and prepare for cross-examination.
In August 2020, the new geospatial expert from Kenya was cross-examined by the attorney general’s lawyers that only had stupid questions about permits and how he had entered Tanzania.
In November 2020, cross-examination of the DC, and the perjuring park warden and geographic systems officer went well – for the applicant Maasai – since their counsel was reportedly able to poke some serious holes in them, which on the other hand can’t have been difficult with such huge liars. After this, applicants and respondent were to file written submissions, which was delayed in the most terrible way until July 2021. There have been several near-death moments when I’ve feared that the case would be dismissed, which didn’t happen until this stupid ruling.
On 21st January 2022, the chairmen of Ololosokwan, John Pyando, Kirtalo, Yohana Toroge, Oloirien, Parmaari Merika, and Arash, Mepuki Lemberwa, filed an urgent application requesting the court to intervene issuing a stop order against the Arusha RC John Mongella’s contempt of court shown on 11th January when he, alleging the broader interest of the nation, threatened that the government would alienate the contested 1,500 km2 of village land bordering Serengeti National Park. Local leaders, even those who for years had worked for OBC and against the people, refused to accompany the RC for a tour of the 1,500 km2, or to sign the attendance list. On 13th-14th January in Oloirien there was a public protest meeting and a statement by village, ward, and traditional leaders.
Also mentioned in the application was the new DED Jumaa Mhina who in since September 2021 had been threatening and intimidating the village chairmen into withdrawing the case from the East African Court of Justice, and Damas Ndumbaro who then still was Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism (now Minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs).
On 14th February, PM Majaliwa visited Loliondo and wasn’t much better than Mongella, but too well-received, since something worse was expected, because of an intense anti-Maasai hate campaign in media, and parliamentarians calling for tanks to be sent to Ngorongoro. This campaign was mostly directed Maasai in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which overshadowed the growing threat against Loliondo.
Three days later, on 17th February in NCA, not Loliondo, Majaliwa ordered the 1,500km2 to be marked by beacons, “so that we may know the boundaries” – while claiming that this was NOT a trick!
Minister Ndumbaro and PM Majaliwa continued issuing threats.
At a huge protest meeting in Arash on 19th March, several leaders spoke up in defence of the land, among them the Arash ward councillor Methew Siloma spoke up very clearly and strongly. The message from this meeting was:
- PM Majaliwa is a liar.
- The Maasai are not renouncing one square inch of land.
- They request to meet with the president, since Majaliwa can’t be trusted.
On 31st March Abdulrahman Kinana was brought in from the cold, after having fallen out with Magufuli, and is now Vice-Chairman of CCM mainland. Kinana is one of OBC’s and Sheikh Mohammed’s best and oldest friends since at least 1993.
CCM ruling party councillors that had spoken up against plans of robbing the Maasai of the 1,500 km2 were being intimidated, arrested, and summoned to be “interrogated” in Arusha. The councillors of Arash and Malambo had to keep reporting to the police.
On 25th May a committee handed over their reports of “community views” on both NCA and the 1,500 km2 in Loliondo to PM Majaliwa who said that he’s work on the recommendations. Majaliwa wasn’t trusted at all, but at least this would give the local leaders the opportunity to in print make clear that the land is village land and under no circumstances will the Maasai participate in demarcating any “protected area”. Further recommendations concerned the removal of OBC.
On 3rd June, Minister Pindi Chana in her budget speech announced that her ministry expected to upgrade Loliondo to a Game Reserve, but she did this while listing huge areas of Tanzania for the same expectation, which didn’t make it sound believable or realistic in any way, and there was hardly any reaction, except for an intervention by Ngorongoro MP Emmanuel Oleshangai.
Then on 8th June Wasso town was overflowing with security forces that went on to set up camps on the 90km stretch from Ololosokwan to Piyaya, and in Malambo. The Maasai held prayers and deliberations, and a coordinated threat with vicious propaganda was communicated primarily by RC Mongella and PM Majaliwa. All councillors from affected wards were abducted and illegal land demarcation began in a rain of teargas and live bullets. Many were injured and thousands fled across the border where many continue as refugees, also cattle, while the Kenyan spirit of solidarity is diminishing. There was a hunt for anyone who could have shared pictures of the crimes, and many were illegally arrested, eventually, together with the councillors, charged with a bogus “murder”, and hearings keep being postponed. The flow of information was almost completely cut. Government representatives made military style visits. Minster Pindi Chana without following any law or procedure gazetted the illegally demarcated land as “Pololeti Game Controlled Area”. Diplomats applauded Minister Ndumbaro’s lies about what was happening. Many international organisations condemned the government’s actions. The much-expected court ruling was the last minute shockingly postponed to September. Houses were demolished or razed. TAWA illegally seized livestock and demanded extortionate “fines”. The dry season deepened without access to the most important grazing area.
On 10th August an affidavit was added to the contempt of court application from January, and on 16th August a new case in the East African Court of Justice was filed. The ruling in Reference No. 10 of 2017 will be appealed.
Illegal annexation to Ngorongoro Conservation Area and recent violence there
On 28th September, at the inauguration of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) board, Minister Pindi Chana announced that the illegally demarcated 1,500km2 had been placed under the management of the NCAA. Chana tasked the board to come up with new tourism products for the area and stressed how important it is to boost tourism traffic to 5 million by 2025.
There have been rumours about this kind of annexation since at least January 2018, and in September 2019 there was a concrete threat in the genocidal Multiple Land Use Model review proposal. There were reports that on 6th August, a convoy of the Arusha RC, TAWA, NCAA and deputy minister Mary Masanja were in Loliondo to hand over the management of the fake and illegal protected area to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority. Though nothing at all was publicly mentioned by the MNRT or NCAA. The reason for the relative silence has been explained with that not everyone in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism is pleased with the annexation. Information is so scarce that it’s hard to say what’s going on.
To my frustration, it’s basically impossible to stop people from mixing up Loliondo and NCA. It’s particularly popular to claim that Maasai from Loliondo are being relocated to Handeni.
Loliondo: a local police state at the service of OBC and the American Thomson Safaris. A constant threat – since June this year worse than ever – of robbing the Maasai of 1,500km2 of vitally important grazing land, expecting them and their livestock to squeeze into the remaining land. Major illegal and extremely violent eviction operations in 2009, 2017 and 2022. Vicious hate campaign by the reporter Manyerere Jackton since around 2010.
NCA: harsh restrictions on every aspect of life under the rule of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and its chief conservator Freddy Manongi. Blocking of funds for social services since 2021. Illegal transfer of COVID-19 funds to Msomera in Handeni to where the Maasai are supposed to relocate “voluntarily”. This year a vicious hate campaign in media and in parliament.
Since the atrocities in Loliondo began in June, I’ve haven’t been able to keep up well with developments in NCA. Several groups of not really local Maasai, traitors and naïve people have been relocated to Handeni and there have been reports of ranger violence in NCA:
In the evening of 18th September in Irbalbal, Letee Ormunderei was tortured by NCAA rangers who broke his leg. The rangers dropped Letee at the Lutheran Hospital in Karatu, and he was then referred to Mt. Meru, to where he didn’t have to means to go. There was fundraising for him and Letee is now receiving treatment at Selian Hospital in Arusha, has undergone one operation and is doing well. Next in the process is to prosecute the criminal ranger Abraham Akyoo who brutalized Letee. The Maasai demand his arrest.
On 19th September in the Alayenai area, NCAA rangers attacked Nakedo Simango, Laambaashini Orkitok, Lebatiri Kimaay, two Barabaig from Nainokanoka who had bought livestock and one other person. Laambaashini Orkitok was injured by the rangers. It’s reported that the rangers asked their victims if they had registered to relocate to Handeni. Lebatiri Kimaay was ordered to crawl on his stomach and jump like a frog.
There are also reports that in mid-September seasonal homes were arsoned in the Orbo area.
On 13th June, Reference No 29 of 2022 was filed in the East African Court of Justice suing the government for all the abuse and eviction threats. The government responded claiming to be acting on the wishes by UNESCO, but I have not yet got hold of this response. It’s a well-documented fact that UNESCO for decades has instigated the Tanzanian government to move the Maasai out of NCA and to worsen living conditions, but this was denied by the organisation on 21st March this year. In a blog post from 7th April, my recommendation to UNESCO was: delist Ngorongoro as a World Heritage Site as soon as possible and then shut forever up about Maasai land. Nothing has been heard from UNESCO about Loliondo, but with this illegal annexation, they are very much involved.
Susanna Nordlund is a working-class person based in Sweden who since 2010 has been blogging about Loliondo (now increasingly also about NCA) and has her fingerprints thoroughly registered with Immigration so that she will not be able to enter Tanzania through any border crossing, ever again. She has never worked for any NGO or intelligence service and hasn’t earned a shilling from her Loliondo work. She can be reached at [email protected]