08 June, 2007

Emirates royals threaten Tanzanian indigenous people

"afrol News, 7 June - The Hadzabe indigenous people of northern Tanzania are facing "a direct and serious threat to the survival" as their hunting and gathering grounds are falling prey to powerful safari organisers. Royals from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and their UAE Safari Ltd count on Tanzanian government support to drive out the Hadzabe, also called "Bushmen".

Last year, the Lower Yaida area in Mbulu District- around 200 kilometres west of Arusha - was ceded to an Abu Dhabi-based hunting company known as Tanzania UAE Safari Ltd. A second application was submitted to attain the remaining part of the Lake Eyasi basin in Karatu District. In end-May this year, the Karatu District Council rejected the deal, citing concerns over the well-being of the Hadzabe people. However, a new round of negotiating appears to have stronger government support.

The application by UAE Safari for a hunting concession encompasses an area of 3,975 square kilometres, including Lake Eyasi. UAE Safari is allegedly acting on behalf of UAE Prince Hamdan bin Zayed and Mohamed bin Zayed, who is chief of staff of UAE Air force. Both Prince Hamdan and Mr bin Zayed have visited the Yaida Valley.


On 21 May, Tanzanian police arrested Richard Baalow, a Hadzabe spokesperson and activist who has been trying to help the community express their opposition to the sale and dialogue with local government. Tanzanian human rights organisations see this as a form of intimidation to ensure compliance with the decision to contract with the UAE safari company.

While the Hadzabe still fight for their lands in Karatu District, in neighbouring Mbulu, the battle is already lost. In acrimonious circumstances, the Mbulu District Council last year agreed to sell 4000 square hectares to the UAE company. UAE Safari has already set up a camp on the concession, from which it soon is to start a commercial hunting and sports enterprise. The Hadzabe are asked to vacate the area.


According to the Hadzabe, they are seeking a way to negotiate a sustainable solution between themselves, the District Council and the UAE safari company, which will conserve nature, provide incomes from the sustainable use of natural resources, and nurture their unique cultural and knowledge systems in their aboriginal territory. The Hadzabe are not necessarily disputing the deal with the UAE, but are arguing that the deal should not put the Hadzabe at serious risk of displacement and cultural disintegration.

But the Hadzabe activists and the organisations supporting them increasingly feel they are met with intimidation. Mr Baalow remains in police detention. The Tanzanian press reports that Mbulu district authorities have already issued several ultimatums for the Hadzabe to vacate the area where UAE Safari has set up its camp. "

--more here

This problem is also explained in this PDF and on this page from the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), and it is also reported here: http://www.ippmedia.com/ipp/guardian/2006/08/22/72886.html

And a good general summary of the problem here [PDF] (with my added emphasis):
The Karatu Dstrict Council in has turned down a request from the United Arab Emirates based tourist hunting company known as Tanzania U.A.E Safari Ltd, which wanted to exploit a wide variety of wildlife in the Lake Eyasi basin for hunting. The councilors wanted to be first see the contract itself, the hunting company profiles, its objectives as well as thorough explanations on how the company will guarantee the sustainable utilization of wildlife prior to granting the Abu Dhabhi-based hunting company green light. Lake Eyasi basin historically reserved as the most important corridor for immigrants wildlife, for animals moving between Lake Manyara National park and the Ngorongoro Crater basin. A salt lake situated between the Rift Valley's Eyasi escarpment and the Kidero Mountains, the area around Lake Eyasi is home to the Hadzabe Bushmen, some of the last remaining hunter-gatherers on the continent. The Hadzabe have inhabited the Acacia forests and scrub land around the Lake Eyasi area for reportedly over 10,000 years. African Indaba reported in a previous issue about the Abu Dhabi hunting concession


Anonymous said...


Sounds like what every White Government would do to any African country

Anonymous said...

All that matters everywhere is money.

Anonymous said...

The problem....if there is one is between the tanzanian government and their ppl.

Anonymous said...

In fact, if you look deeper, you find a US and Israeli hand in it.

We are pure and innocent.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 10:29

Did you forget the [Humor] ... [/Humor] tags ? :)

Rose in Dubai said...

>>Sounds like what every White Government would do to any African country <<

Either you are shit stirring or you are way out of date. White governments may have done this 200 years ago but since then they have learned that this is not a civilised way to behave and they have changed. Either learn from history or repeat its mistakes. It isn't OK to claim that you can do stuff because other people did it in a previous century. This is called progress.

get said...

another fine mess by emirates royals!

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