Wednesday, 26 December 2018

November of Terror and Silence in Loliondo has Turned into Christmas of Terror and Silence

Fear and silence have continued into December. In November Tanzanian soldiers could torture and chase away people, and burn their bomas, in serious violation of interim orders issued by the East Africa Court of Justice, while all leaders in Loliondo stayed silent – and cattle were illegally detained on village land.
Beatings continue, and on 21st December 12 bomas (or per other accounts 11 bomas/24 houses) were burned in the Leken area of Kirtalo village.

This blog post has kept being unacceptably delayed and contains some parts that may to some seem irrelevant considering currents atrocities.

The situation is far, far too painful and help is needed from anyone with some influence.

Update: people are again illegally arrested and I’m working on a blog post, even if information is scarce. THRDC have published a brief news alert.  

In this blog post:
Crimes of November
Christmas crimes
The DC comments
The silence
Manongi and the Jamhuri anti-Maasai rag
Charity as a very dirty weapon
The EU
Summary of developments of the past decades

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Extreme Violence Has Again Erupted in Loliondo, Violating Interim Orders, and Nobody is Speaking Out

In wide areas around the camp of OBC, that organizes hunting for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, people are being attacked and beaten, and chased away together with their cattle. This is not only a crime against human rights and Tanzanian law, but it’s a serious violation of interim orders issued by the East African Court of Justice on 25th September this year.

Beatings in areas of Kirtalo village have been reported since 10th November, and bomas are again being burned, under unprecedented silence. The situation has kept deteriorating as I’ve been writing on this blog post while getting piecemeal information from many people on the ground.

This time the crimes are mostly being committed by soldiers from the Tanzanian army that have a camp set up in Lopolun since March this year.

A young man studying far from home tells me: “Very stupid, let them be beaten until they learn to report all sort of inhumane happening to them”, “If they can bear brutality let them move on WITH their stupidity”, “Let them be beaten mercilessly until they demonstrate”, “It doesn't start today or the day after today but the issue is a long planned process that gonna drag the life of Maasai”. I will never accept this, and I know that there are many Tanzanians who don’t accept living in a gangster state, and will do what they can to stop the brutality, however stupid, or not - at least they have not always been this passive … - the Maasai of Loliondo may be.

Never has an urgent blog post been more delayed …

Update: on 21st December 11 more bomas were burned down by soldiers in Leken, Kirtalo. Blog post on the way. 

In this blog post:
Brief recent background
Massive violation of interim orders in wide areas around OBC’s camp, with updates
Summary of developments of the past decades

Monday, 5 November 2018

The Spectacular U-turner Kigwangalla has Commented on Loliondo in a TV Interview

In this blog post:
The interview on Kwanza TV
A reminder of the spectacular U-turn
Summary of developments of the past decades

Update: I’ve since 10th November been hearing reports about beatings and evictions in wide areas around OBC’s camp, in serious violation of the interim orders, and will publish a blog post as soon as I’ve got more details. 

On 31st October, Kwanza TV aired a lengthy interview with the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Hamisi Kigwangalla, and in this interview he talked about Loliondo for a few minutes. As known by followers of this blog, almost exactly a year ago Kigwangalla made the most splendid promises about Loliondo, including promising that OBC would have left before January 2018. Then sadly he made a complete U-turn that I’ve also written about in several posts. In advance, Kwanza TV had been asking the public to submit questions for the minister. The question I submitted wasn’t asked though… “Mh @HKigwangalla, tufanyeje na”syndicate”ya OBC inayotesa wananchi Loliondo?Ulilisemea hili mwaka jana, hata kuahadi OBC ingaliondoka kabla ya 2018! Tunafahamu ulishabadilika kuhusu OBC. Umebadililika pia kuhusu mkurugenziMollel uliesema alitaka kukuhonga? @kwanza_tv #chukuahatua” (translation: what should we do about OBC’s syndicate that persecute people in Loliondo? You talked about this last year, even promising that OBC would have left before 2018! We know that you have changed about OBC. Have you also changed about director Mollel who you said wanted to bribe you?)  I hope it didn’t sound like I believe that Kigwangalla accepted Mollel’s supposed offer. I think his reason for throwing the Maasai of Loliondo under the bus are far more ambitious and long-term than US dollars 100,000, or 200,000 into his pocket.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Better Late than Never! Interim Measures Issued by the East African Court of Justice to Restrain the Tanzanian Government from Evicting, Harassing or Intimidating the Maasai of Loliondo

In this blog post:
Two sets of interim measures issued by the court
Whose land is it?
Past and present efforts to grab the 1,500 km2 osero from the Maasai

At last some good news! The East African Court of justice has not only restrained the Tanzanian government from more eviction attempts while the case is ongoing, but also restrained the office of the Inspector General of Police from harassing or intimidating the villagers that have sued the government. Though unfortunately there’s some confused reporting resulting from confused writing of the ruling that makes it seem like the government’s vague plan for the 1,500 km2, the plan that must be stopped, would already have been implemented. I should have published this blog post days ago.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Silence, Torture, Stupidity, Affidavits, and Soldiers in Loliondo

In this blog post:
The bizarre case of mistaken identity and illegal arrests
Thomson Safaris back to violence (if they ever stopped), using soldiers
Reported arrests of OBC rangers, but details are scarce and confused…
Attack by soldiers at orpul in Ololosokwan
The government’s affidavits
More articles
Summary of osero and OBC developments of the past decades

Update 25/9: At last some good news! The East African Court of Justice has issued interim orders against both last years illegal operation on village land that led to arson, seizing of cattle, beatings and rape, and against the intimidation campaign launched in May this year to derail the case. The office of the Inspector General of Police is restrained from harassing or intimidating the applicants pending Reference No. 10 of 2017. Better late than never...

In memory of Yohana Saing’eu, many people’s father and legendary chairman of Ololosokwan for 33 years, who sadly passed away on 27th August 2018. In 2011, I saw the defender of the village in a street of Arusha, in the company of a lawyer, and on the way to Dar es Salaam after receiving a letter that demanded that the village certificate be handed in. In 2013, I saw the father sitting on a log in Mairowa with a small girl on his lap. Even if it doesn’t seem so right now, I believe that the legends of the future could be walking around in Loliondo.

This blog post is very delayed, not because there isn’t anything happening, but because multiple bad developments that nobody who hasn’t been silenced has exact information about are taking place.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Release Clinton and Ingrid! Stop insanity and abuse in Loliondo!

Multiple horrible abuse has been going on in Loliondo, and I’m working on a very delayed and very long blog post, full of incomplete information. I must however now write about the most malicious and stupid ongoing illegal arrests that people were shockingly silent about for days, and ask anyone who can help to please do so.

Update: Clinton and Ingrid were released Monday afternoon 17/9 after three and five nights of illegal arrest. I hope more details will follow.

I want to make it clear that I had hardly even heard about Ingrid before the arrest, and have never had had communication with her whatsoever, before or after.

More updates below.

On Friday 14th September I got an email with a short greeting from Manyerere Jackton, the “journalist” who has written over 50 articles full of hate speech against the Maasai of Loliondo. This only happens when he’s up to something bad, like another defamatory article in support of land alienation to benefit the “investor” in Loliondo, or illegal arrests of real or imagined friends of mine. He wanted to know if I was in Loliondo. Later the same day I was contacted by people saying that some “investor friendly” individuals were commenting that I had been arrested after crossing the border in Ngaresero, in the vehicle of an NGO… This was “interesting” to hear when I was sitting at home in Sweden being sad because I hadn’t been invited to a wedding in Kirtalo, even if I wouldn’t have been able to attend it, or anything else in Tanzania, anyway, ever.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Intimidation Continues in Loliondo While Everyone has been Silenced

In this blog post:
Violent assault committed by soldiers
The EACJ case
Probe team, team of attorney general’s lawyers, or whatever
Reuters article everywhere
Visit by RC Gambo
Summary (important reading for those who want to write about Loliondo, but don’t have the time to check facts)

Don’t forget to read the 12th June blog post with the sad story about Thomson Safaris’ ruthless hypocrisy, the 7th June and 13th May posts with chaotic updates, and the 11th April post about the visit by Sheikh Mohammed, and Kigwangalla’s spectacular U-turn.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

A Decade since Trent Keegan was Murdered and Thomson Safaris Continue Occupying Maasai Land

In this blog post:
Tanzania Breweries Limited
Thomson Safaris take Maasai land as their nature refuge
Lesinko shot at Enashiva Nature Refuge
Trent murdered
2009 drought
The sign
First international article
The PM’s “report”
Unanswered UN letters
The court cases
Becoming a blogger
The negotiations
Children beaten
Five herders prosecuted for trespass
Killing a website
More journalists in trouble
Olunjai shot
The big intimidation campaign in Loliondo
Charity as a weapon – and recently buying who could not be bought
Current silence

Read the most recent blog posts to understand what’s going on with OBC and the 1,500 km2, and the further increased intimidation campaign. Thomson Safaris is about another, unrelated, tourism company in Loliondo, but with the same “friends”, and benefitting from the same lawlessness and repression.

This blog post is far too delayed, and it’s because of unexpected bad news, both about OBC and Thomson, and because it’s been impossible, and continue being impossible, to get hold of people whose view I need to hear.

Thomson Safaris, a Boston-based safari company that furiously insists that Maasai grazing land is their own Enashiva Nature Refuge (a.k.a Eastern Serengeti Nature Refuge), and with a police state at their service to silence their critics feel sorry for themselves because nobody listens to their side…

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Intimidation and Illegal Arrests to Derail the Case Filed Against the Tanzanian Government by Four Loliondo Villages

In this blog post:
“Secret” intimidation and illegal arrest campaign
eNCA piece about Loliondo - husband of interviewed family currently in police custody
The hearing
Another, maybe unrelated, wave of arrests
Kigwangalla’s budget presentation and the timid opposition reaction to Loliondo
Oakland’s response to the Tanzanian government
Manyerere Jackton again
What has happened? (summary that’s very useful for newcomers)

Since the intimidation campaign to derail the case in the East African Court of Justice, for some inexplicable reason, was kept a secret for weeks, I have got more details after publishing this blog post, and those have been added in this text colour. 

I was to post a delayed blog post about Thomson Safaris, but it will have to wait a bit longer.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Loliondo Report by the Oakland Institute and Kigwangalla Makes his U-turn Even More Extreme

In this blog post:
Report by the Oakland Institute
Kigwangalla becomes like his shamelessly lying predecessors
Livestock detained at Wasso market
Secret meeting for a “friendlier special authority”
OBC’s gift to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism
Summary for newcomers

There may be developments on the ground in Loliondo - or in Arusha - that I will write more about later when I’ve got information.

Nothing has happened with PM Majaliwa’s threatening decision to form a “special authority” to manage the 1,500 km2 of important grazing land that OBC (that organises hunting for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai) for years have lobbied to have turned into a “protected area”, and it’s now fortunately too late* to be included in the 2018-2019 budget. The Maasai of Loliondo had, despite severe harassment of those speaking up, managed to fight off several threats against this land. In 2016 repression worsened, OBC sent out a press release about the “destructiveness” of the Maasai pleading with the Ministry of Natural Resources to do something, and the PM tasked the Arusha RC with settting up a select committee that came up with a compromise proposal. While everyone was waiting to hear from the PM, in August 2017, the DC ordered an illegal invasion of village land in which Serengeti rangers assisted by NCA rangers, police, KDU and OBC rangers, committed mass arson and other human rights crimes. The illegal operation went on for over two months while some leaders who should have spoken up went horribly silent. The crimes were finally stopped by the new minister, Kigwangalla, who also said that OBC would have left before January never to be given another hunting block. OBC didn’t go anywhere, and on 6th December the PM announced his decision that was a vague and threatening “special authority” to manage the land, and he said that OBC were staying.

* update: Or maybe not… since Kigwangalla, on 21st May mentioned the chombo maalum in his budget speech, saying that the draft had been presented to the relevant ministers, and a new version is being prepared to be presented to the PM. All this is being done above the heads, or behind the backs, of the people of Loliondo.

My previous blog post, about a visit by Sheikh Mohammed, his old friend Kinana, and about Kigwangalla’s U-turn, is still worth reading.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Loliondo between Silence, Confusion, Fear, and Bad Old Friends

In this blog post:
The East African Court case
Visit by royal hunters
The Minister’s U-turn
Silence about the “chombo/mamlaka maalum” and the German money
Video by PINGO’s Forum
Magufuli in Arusha
Military camp
No justice
Summary for newcomers

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Fear and Silence in Loliondo

In this very brief blog post:
Confusion about the “special authority”
Few meetings
Dismissed preliminary objection
Livestock census
Background summary

Confusion about the “special authority”
After PM Majaliwa’s much delayed announcement of his decision how to “solve the conflict” over 1,500 km2 of important grazing land in Loliondo that the “investor” from Dubai, Otterlo Business Corporation, for years has lobbied to have converted into a protected area, silence has ruled Loliondo.

The PM’s decision, rushing through a legal bill before February/March to create a “special authority” (chombo maalum) that will manage the land, was a huge disappointment and caused great fear in those I heard from, and this makes the silence hard to explain. There had been hope that the village land would be left in the hands of villagers, with the condition that they form a WMA, which was the compromise proposal reached by the Arusha RC’s select (non-participatory) committee. A WMA carries considerable dangers in itself and had therefore been rejected for a decade and a half.