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Sun 30 Nov 2014 02:42 PM

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Tanzania denies plan to evict Masai tribes to set up hunting park for UAE royals

Reports claim the tribal lands near the Serengeti national park were sold to a UAE firm to be turned into a luxury game reserve

Tanzania denies plan to evict Masai tribes to set up hunting park for UAE royals

The Tanzanian government has denied media reports it planned to evict 40,000 ethnic Masai tribe members after their farming land had been sold to a UAE-based company who wanted to turn it into a hunting park for the members of the royal family.

It had been reported that a 1,500 square km 'wildlife corridor' next to the Serengeti national park would be sold to the UAE-based firm, leading to a backlash which garnered around 2.3 million signatures through an online petition

Several articles claimed the land had been sold to the Ortelo Business Corporation (OBC), a luxury game-hunting firm set up by officials working for the royal families of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

However, Tanzanian Natural Resources Minster Lazaro Nyalandu has issued a statement denying the reports, dismissing them as “misleading, malicious and meant to tarnish the image of our country and her international standing.”

“The government has no such plans and never entertained the idea of evicting the Maasai… The argument that the land in question is being sold to a wealthy Middle Eastern family is a total fabrication” he added.