BLACKS AGAINST BLACKS – PARAKUYO of Tanzania cry out for justice: #1 in a new series from Damon Corrie

The Parakuyo (aka Baraguyu) are a small tribe of pasturalists in Tanzania numbering about 3,000 souls. They live in five provinces of Tanzania, and I am disheartened to report – they are being victimised by a larger neighboring Indigenous tribe in their country with the support of a few heartless politicians operating in a covert manner unknown to the honorable President of Tanzania.

The much larger tribe are farmers, and are being encouraged by certain politicians to illegally appropriate the Parakuyo’s traditional lands.

Parakuyo women have been raped, and their men have been murdered, when the Parakuyo communities affected by hostile acts perpetrated by the larger encroaching tribe call on the authorities to intervene – the police arrive in lorries and confiscate ALL the Parakuyo livestock instead – accusing the Parakuyo of ‘inciting the trouble’. This unjust ‘modus operandi‘ leaves the Parakuyu devoid of animals – which are the traditional source of wealth and status in their society and they then become destitute.

Parakuyo families are actually starving to death in some instances as a result of being reduced to poverty by these tactics.

Another stumbling block the Parakuyo face, is one similar to the one faced by the Ogiek in neighbouring Kenya, namely – the fact that no community members are government officials – and neither do they have any close contacts or alliances with any politicians – who tend to see the larger ethnic groups as being more useful (more votes) to support.

Few Parakuyo have received a ‘formal‘ education, and even then – it tends to be at the primary level only, rarely beyond.

Cognizant of the fact that the Parakuyo situation is in direct violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and in my capacity as the leader of the Pan-Tribal Confederacy of Indigenous Tribal Nations – which has welcomed the Parakuyo Tribe into our arms, hearts and minds, I am therefore requesting – via the international media – that his Excellency President Mhe. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, urgently intervene in this shameful situation in his country and ensure that these gross violations of the human rights of the Parakuyo Indigenous People are halted, and the following actions are subsequently undertaken:

(a) That the Parakuyo are officially recognized as the 129th indigenous tribe of Tanzania.
(b) That the Parakuyo are granted official and non-revocable communal land titles by the government of Tanzania.

Yours faithfully,

Damon Gerard Corrie
President of the Pan Tribal Confederacy of Indigenous Tribal Nations
Attending the Eighth Session of the United Nations
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, in New York City, May 18-29 2009

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