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Stand with the Maasai

To President Jakaya Kikwete:

As citizens from around the world, we call on you to oppose any attempt to evict Maasai from their traditional land or require them to relocate to make way for foreign hunters. We are counting on you to be a champion for your people and stop any attempt to change their land rights against their will. 

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I am from the Maasai community of Tanzania, one of Africa’s oldest tribes. Today, the government here announced that it plans to evict thousands of my tribesmen and women from our lands so that wealthy tourists can use it to shoot lions and leopards. The evictions are to begin immediately.

Last year, when word first leaked about this plan, almost 1 million Avaaz members rallied to our aid. Your attention forced the government to issue a statement denying it planned to evict us, and likely set their plan back months. But the President waited for international attention to die down, and now he’s reviving his plan to steal land from thousands of families.

We know that President Kikwete may not care about us, but he has demonstrated he’ll respond to global pressure -- to all of you! Please help us again. Sign the petition to stand with us to protect our land, our people and the world’s majestic animals. It is our last hope.

-- Saipopi* of the Maasai community of Loliondo
* name changed for protection

Posted: 26 March 2013

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