Monday, July 18, 2022

Maasai Evictions

 Tanzanian police shooting Maasai is just the latest episode in a chronicle of evicting local people for conservation, a tragedy which began for Africa over a hundred years ago and has deprived thousands of their lands and birthright. In this particular case, the government wants the Maasai pastoralists out of a “Protected Area”, Loliondo in Ngorongoro, to free it up for tourism and trophy hunting. Atrocities have been going on there for a long time, but there’s now a new and important development: it’s the first time they’ve been “condemned” by big conservation NGOs,[1] including the one which developed the policy leading to the violence, the Frankfurt Zoological Society.[2] No one should be taken in by this subterfuge from an organisation which one Maasai describes as, “enemy number one”...

...In the last few years, the formulaic NGO response to conservation atrocities has been to deny them and, only after pressure from publicity, then reluctantly admit that a few “bad apple” rangers might have overstepped the mark. The relevant NGO then usually pays for an investigation, taking months if not years, hoping that media attention moves on, as it will. Any resulting reports are whitewashed or simply buried if they stray towards the truth.

It may be opportune now for the Frankfurt Zoo to condemn the violence which everyone can see, but it still fails to assign blame, and rejects all responsibility for its own role...The wider conservation industry will doubtless lament this shooting and see it as a major strategic blunder, but that will be to try and mask the fact that it’s neither new nor unusual...It’s important to understand that the Frankfurt Zoo’s declared “condemnation” of the Maasai shootings isn’t a first step towards acknowledging its crimes: it’s a deflective feint in the generations’ old battle for land control in Africa. It’s just another facet of colonialism...

Taken from here

Maasai Evictions Trigger Frankfurters’ Fake Condemnation -

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