The Tanzanian government must halt its forcible evictions of Maasai communities, say MEPs

Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0 Author: Noel Feans
Maasai school in Tanzania.

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Tanzania.

MEPs urge the Tanzanian government to immediately halt ongoing forcible evictions of Maasai communities in the country’s Ngorongoro District due to, among other reasons, plans to turn large parts of traditional grazing lands in the Loliondo Area into a game reserve.

Pointing to the importance of guaranteeing the safe return of these communities, the resolution stresses their right to access to justice and for effective remedies for victims.

Parliament also calls on the Tanzanian government to recognise and protect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, and to acknowledge the lands and resources that the Maasai communities have managed for generations and their role in maintaining wildlife and biodiversity.

MEPs urge the Tanzanian government to allow UN and EU institutions observation visits to the concerned areas. They also call on the European Commission to report to the European Parliament on EU budget support programmes and other initiatives in Tanzania, with particular attention to projects dealing with biodiversity loss and climate change and to human rights safeguards.

The resolution was adopted by 493 votes in favour, 29 against with 17 abstentions.

Explore more