Rights Group Says Tanzania Seizing Animals of Herders
An American rights group says Tanzania is seizing animals from herders because it wants to bring more foreign visitors to the northern part of the country.
The Oakland Institute, a research group based in Oakland, California, recently reported on the issue. The group said Tanzanian officials are seizing the livestock of ethnic Maasai herders. The goal of the officials is to clear the area for increased tourism in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
The rights group says the government forcibly seized 5,880 cattle and 767 goats and sheep from the Maasai people in November and December. Government officials are demanding that owners pay heavy fines. People who cannot pay have their livestock taken and sold to other people.
Anuradha Mittal is the executive director of the Oakland Institute, one group following the issue. She told the Associated Press that: “Livestock is central to the Maasai culture and livelihoods.” She said: “Losing cattle is therefore catastrophic for them. With this new tactic the government’s goal is clearly to drive them away from their ancestral lands.”