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“Haki hupewi. Haki udai” [Right is not Granted; You Have to Claim it]. What a Litigation Process at the East African Court of Justice Can Tell us about the Pastoralists' Struggles for Land Rights in Tanzania

Abstract : After several years in the Tanzanian courts, without any favourable resolutions, four pastoralist Maasai villages from Loliondo area decided to file a case against the government at the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) in 2017, now motivated by new evictions that happened that year. Filing a lawsuit collectively in this judicial level is unprecedented in the history of the Tanzanian pastoralist and hunter-gatherer peoples. In this article, I will be focusing on two specific situations related to what has been called “the Loliondo case” that took place during the preparatory meetings at the Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU) headquarters and the hearings at the EACJ, in May and June 2019. In both events, the encounters between lawyers and Maasai villagers (who were the witnesses) highlighted incongruities of translations, showing the existence of different “communities of communication”. Such communities are organised in these social situations under “asymmetrical interdependent relations” and the effects of the powers issued from these asymmetries help us to better understand the ways in which hierarchy is established in interethnic dialogues. On the other hand, we will also note that the role of the Maasai activists – being “indigenous brokers” who are themselves lawyers or highly educated people and, therefore, master the codes of the different communities of communication – reveals the capacity of making negotiations even under (and through) the logics of hegemonic knowledge.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03078703
Contributor : Bastien Miraucourt <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 6:41:53 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 31, 2020 - 3:03:09 AM

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Aline C. Rabelo. “Haki hupewi. Haki udai” [Right is not Granted; You Have to Claim it]. What a Litigation Process at the East African Court of Justice Can Tell us about the Pastoralists' Struggles for Land Rights in Tanzania. 2019, https://mambo.hypotheses.org/1929. ⟨halshs-03078703⟩

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