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Forced Evictions of the Maasai: Whither the Rule of Law?

Kerry McLean, Joseph Oleshangay, and Lucas Yamat

Presented by the International Law Section's Africa Committee and International Criminal Law Committee.

Since 2009 the Tanzanian government has initiated policies to forcibly remove the Maasai from their ancestral areas in the hopes of securing the Maasai areas for “conservation” and eco-tourism projects. Government authorities reportedly have perpetrated acts of violence, arbitrary arrests, and in some cases, disappearances have been reported. The Rule of Law appears to have been at times arbitrarily applied or in most cases disregarded all together. The European Parliament passed a Resolution in December 2023 calling attention to the lack of transparency and consultation with the Maasai regarding the projects. The International Criminal Law Committee and the Africa Committee are hosting this program to highlight the issues that indigenous communities, such as the Maasai, face in the name of green energy projects, conservation, and eco-tourism.

In this presentation Kerry McLean moderates a discussion with Lucas Yamat and Joseph Oleshangay who will provide background on the situation in Tanzania, discuss the impact of the land grabs which are forcibly displacing and destroying the lives of the Maasai, and the role of the rule of law.