EACJ Rejects Maasai Community’s Petition Against Tanzanian Government

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) on Friday rejected a petition by the Maasai community against the Tanzanian government in a case involving a land dispute, located in the famous Serengeti, reported The Reuters.

The Maasai petitioners made an appeal to the EACJ to stop the Tanzanian government from removing them and their livestock by force from the border of the Serengeti Reserve and Loliondo Wilderness. They argued that the government did not abide by the terms of the agreement for establishing the East African Community.

The Tanzanian government, on the other hand, argued that it had the right to take the land and did not use force or violate any human rights to remove the herders who invaded the Serengeti National Park which borders the Ngorongoro area in the north.

Reading the EACJ court’s verdict, Judge Charles Nyachae on behalf of Judge Monica Mgenyi, said that the Maasai community petitioners are not entitled to any compensation by the Tanzanian government as they failed to prove their claims that they were tortured and beaten.

Nyachae also said the petitioners could not provide evidence that their property was destroyed by the Tanzanian police force.

“We are unable to receive sufficient evidence from the petitioners and we dismiss the reference,” the judge said

In the case opened in 2017 at the EACJ, the Maasai people had hoped for a ruling that declared that the Tanzanian government violated the set laws.

They also wanted the court to order the Tanzanian government to stop the evictions, arrest, detention, prosecution and damage to their homesteads, property and livestock.

They were also seeking an order for restitution from the government, their members, and residents to their property as well as full reparation and general damages of one billion Tanzanian shillings ( €446,000, $428,000).

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

Related Articles