DC Moses Sanga

Name ID 1187

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Africa News Online
Extract Author: Morice Maunya
Extract Date: 1999 November 14

Two Ethnic Groups Clash In Tanzania

Panafrican News Agency

Police and officials rushed Saturday to quell a fresh outbreak of fighting between the Maasai and Warangi ethnic of groups in northern Tanzania.

At least 30 dwellings belonging to the Maasai were burnt and an undisclosed number of their cattle and goats went missing during a recent attack by the Warangi, officials said.

District Commissioner Moses Sanga of Kondoa, a predominantly Warangi area, has confirmed the incident. He said the Warangi burnt Maasai huts to avenge the beating of Warangi women by a group of young Maasai warriors on 4 November.

In retaliation, the Maasai re-grouped and attacked again last week. The Maasai in question live in Kiteto district of Arusha region, which which is next to Kondoa district.

The extend of casualties was not immediately known.

Alarmed that the situation might get nastier, the police and administration officials rushed to the scene over the weekend to sort out the problem.

The officials included the chief government administrator of Dodoma region, Isidori Shirima and his Arusha counterpart, Daniel Ole Njoolay.

The government was trying to bring together Warangi and Maasai elders to pacify their followers, Shirima said after a tour of the area Friday.

However, sources told PANA that the real cause of bad blood between the Maasai and their neighbours is a scramble for scare land and water resources.

While the Warangi are mainly subsistence farmers, the Maasai are nomad pastoralists who want their extended livestock to be given free access to grazing land and water resources.

Kondoa-Kiteto area lies on a dry belt with scarce arable land and water resources. The Warangi accuse the Maasai of encroaching their little farmland with impunity.

Extract ID: 1455