Edited by Rita Murphy, from the Tanzania Daily News
The Maasai have lost so much of their land, they cannot afford to lose any more, according to Survival International. President Jakaya Kikwete has pledged never to evict the Maasai people after an international outcry against plans to turn their ancestral land into a commercial hunting ground for Arab royalty.
Last week the Guardian revealed claims by Maasai activists that the government had reintroduced plans to forcibly relocate 40,000 pastoralists to make way for a luxury hunting and safari company based in the United Arab Emirates. But, as an online campaign gathered steam, President Jakaya Kikwete tweeted:
“There has never been, nor will there ever be, any plan by the government of Tanzania to evict the Maasai people from their ancestral land.”
The promise was hailed by the Avaaz global activist group after a two-year fight during which 2.3 million people signed a petition against the proposal.