• 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.

Maasai in Loliondo win important appeal

On 29 November, four Maasai Indigenous communities in Loliondo, Tanzania celebrated a rare win on their long road to justice as the Appellate Division of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) upheld their appeal of a September 2022 case.

The judges sided with the four villages and their lawyers stating that there was a failure in examining and hearing evidence in the original judgment, which included affidavits and an expert witness report.

Additionally, the judgment also awarded costs to the appellants, not just for this appeal process, but for the original trial as well, meaning that the government is responsible for all costs incurred in both proceedings for both parties.

This is an important next step in the long journey towards justice that Indigenous Peoples in Tanzania have been fighting for years

This ruling is also significant as it now sets a powerful precedent for the courts which will be responsible for examined all evidence that is presented.

The September 2022 case in question concerns the dismissal of a case holding the Government of Tanzania to account for the violent evictions by authorities of Indigenous people in four villages in 2017. The evictions left 20,000 Maasai individuals homeless and damaged 5,800 homes, some of which were damaged by burning.

>> Read the full press release here

>> Read the full court ruling here

>> For more on Loliondo and the many government-led actions, including forcible evictions, read our coverage here:

Tags: Land rights

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