Two human rights defenders from the Hadzabe people in Tanzania have been acquitted by the Mbulu District Court from all charges brought against them in an attempt for revenge, because they had successfully defended the tribal homeland of their people against a corrupt deal. A Dubai conglomerate of wealthy sports-hunters from Abu-Dabi had been trying franticly to establish a sports-hunting area in the culturally and ecologically most important part of the Yaida Valley, along Lake Eyasi in Tanzania.
The Hadzabe are one of the last peoples of East-Africa, who want and are able to maintain their skilful, traditional and peaceful hunter-gatherer culture within their own homeland.
Naftal Kitandu and Richard Balo, who – due to trumped up and false charges – even had been imprisoned at the beginning of the legal tussle, were in the name of their people the stout and outspoken main opponents against the clandestine deal concerning the illegally started Arab hunting concession, which had close links to highest office bearers in Tanzania.
The Hadzabe, who live in close family groups, and their lands are regularly suffering from illegal invasions by cattle barons, aggressive expansion by neighbouring slash-and-burn agriculturalists, wealthy sports-hunters and lately again prospectors for gold and other precious minerals.
Thari Kulissa, spokesperson of ECOTERRA Intl., congratulated the judiciary and the Tanzanian Authorities for having brought this case to a just end and praised the two Hadza defenders for their consequent actions, which safeguarded their people from great harm.
Arusha / Tanzania
28. Aug. 2008