IUCN Statement on human rights violations in Loliondo, Tanzania
IUCN is deeply concerned by reports of violence by security forces against the Maasai Indigenous Peoples in the Loliondo Division of Ngorongoro District, in northern Tanzania. Reports of at least one death and a number of people sustaining injuries are particularly alarming.
IUCN considers any violence against or forced eviction of indigenous peoples and local communities to be entirely unacceptable and holds that they constitute gross violations of human rights. IUCN urges the Government of Tanzania to take responsibility to immediately stop all human rights violations, to provide remedy and security to those harmed, and to ensure appropriate peaceful measures are undertaken towards recognizing, respecting and protecting the rights of the Maasai communities. The Government should adhere to the 2018 East African Court of Justice (EACJ) injunction on the ongoing land dispute in the area, which held that all evictions be stayed and intimidations of community members be stopped.
It is urgent to initiate a fair, just and equitably governed consultative process to identify long-term solutions, and to investigate and address human rights violations related to nature conservation, including any establishment, amendment or expansion of protected or conserved areas. This requires an in-depth impact assessment and the full, effective and meaningful participation of all rightsholders and stakeholders, consistent with international human rights law, norms and best practices.
IUCN stands fully ready to support such a process in accordance with its long-standing commitment, mandate, policies and track record in rights-based approaches to nature conservation, and in collaboration with other relevant international and national bodies. IUCN values its long history of working in partnership with its Members, and with Indigenous Peoples and local communities to promote recognition of their rights at national and global policy levels, and to respect and uphold their rights and support fair and effective conservation activities on the ground.