Community Members Allegedly Killed and Displaced by Park Rangers Deserve Justice

Target: Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank

Goal: Ensure a thorough assessment of the alleged livestock theft and human rights abuse within the Ruaha National Park.

Rangers at Ruaha National Park in southern Tanzania face accusations of extrajudicial killings and livestock theft and reportedly aim to evict locals for tourist expansion. The park, which enjoys financial backing from the World Bank, currently has a $150 million grant in place. Recent revelations by the U.S.-based Oakland Institute highlight allegations of the World Bank overlooking potential human rights abuses by the Tanzanian National Parks Authority, or TANAPA. The study suggests that TANAPA rangers have allegedly played roles in several fatalities in Ruaha’s vicinity, notably an incident in April 2021 where a fisherman and two herders, one merely 14, lost their lives.

In 2008, after an edict doubled the park’s size, Maasai, Datoga, and Sangu inhabitants of the Mbari district found themselves within the park. Late the previous year, without prior consultation, plans surfaced intending to resettle over 20,000 individuals from five park villages. With 852 community plaintiffs, this eviction notice faces legal challenges.

Ruaha, brimming with diverse wildlife and birds, underwent a significant poaching issue a decade past, diminishing its elephant population drastically. Nevertheless, a poaching decline has seen a rebound in these numbers. With World Bank assistance, the Tanzanian administration reportedly aims to augment Ruaha tourism, enhancing park income. Anuradha Mittal, the Oakland Institute’s executive director, asserts that boosting southern Tanzanian tourism, particularly in Ruaha, remains a key strategy. It’s time to take action now.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Ajay Banga,

We bring to your attention concerning allegations surrounding Ruaha National Park and the Tanzanian National Parks Authority. Serious charges have arisen, painting a troubling picture of extrajudicial actions, livestock theft, and potential land grabs for tourism.

We implore the World Bank, under your esteemed leadership, to reconsider the $150 million grant given to Ruaha and TANAPA. A rigorous examination of these claims is paramount. The World Bank, as a beacon of global development and ethical funding, should ensure that its financial support does not inadvertently perpetuate human rights abuses or environmental degradation.

Urgent intervention is required. We request an immediate reassessment of the grant’s conditions, ensuring that any associated projects uphold the World Bank’s foundational principles and international human rights standards.

The global community watches keenly. We anticipate timely action and a commitment to just, sustainable development in Tanzania.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: World Economic Forum


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