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Complaint relating to Violations of Fundamental Rights and Duties arising from Forced Evictions of Artisanal Miners from Afrika Mashariki Gold Mine, Tarime

Country/Territory
Tanzania, Un. Rep. of
Type of court
Others
Date
Jul 25, 2003
Source
UNEP, InforMEA
Court name
Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance Tanzania
Seat of court
Dar es Salaam
Judge
Kisanga
Language
English
Subject
Mineral resources
Keyword
Mining Expropriation Human rights
Abstract
This complaint dealt with the alleged eviction of small scale miners from their mines to make way for the development of the Bulyanhulu mine. According to the complainants, the area was legally designated a small-scale mining concession area. Without the proper license and in violation of national and international law, the Tanzanian government and a mining company were alleged to have taken control of the mine sites. The small-scale miners as well as peasant farmers and landowners of the area in question complained about violation of their rights as guaranteed in the Mining Act, 1979, the Mining Act, 1998, the Constitution and international law and internationally accepted human rights norms and standards. The complainants alleged that as artisanal or small-scale miners, they had owned and operated gold mining shafts and other mining equipment. The complainants had discovered the gold deposits in the said area and after having been granted mineral rights over the claims, started gold mining operations at the said claim areas. Having obtained a mining license, the company alleged to have taken control of the mines, Afrika Mashariki Gold Mines Limited, started pressuring the complainants to cease their mining and other economic activities; vacate their mining shafts and residential buildings. It was stated that the company paid no legally recognized compensation to the complainants for these losses of property. It was also alleged that in 2001, the police invaded the complainants’ villages and violently drove the complainants out of their settlements and properties. During this violent operation, was said to have shot and wounded numerous villagers and - in collaboration with the mentioned company - destroyed the complainants’ residential and commercial houses. As a result of the said forced evictions, the company took possession of the mines and had since operated the mine. The complainants said that no plan had been prepared for resettlement and no alternative lands or settlements or alternative sources of livelihoods for the complainants had been provided. They asked the commission to make orders to secure the remedying of the wrongs committed against the complainants and the cessation of the continuing violations of their rights.
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