Tanzanian police arrest 90 in Mtwara over gas pipeline protests

May 24, 2013

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Tanzanian police have arrested more than 90 people after a day of protests in which one person was killed in Mtwara over a gas pipeline project to Dar es Salaam, AFP reported Thursday (May 24th).

Police Wednesday fired tear gas to break up the riots after the demonstrators demolished the Mikindani Bridge that connects Mtwara with the Lindi region, torched about 10 houses, including one that belongs to journalist Kassim Mikongolo of Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, and burnt several government and ruling party offices, said Minister of Home Affairs Emmanuel Nchimbi.

Many locals have opposed the planned construction of a pipeline, fearing they will not benefit from the resource.

President Jakaya Kikwete condemned the protests. "Natural resources, regardless of the region where they are found, are the property of all Tanzanians," he said in a television broadcast.

The Tanzania People's Defence Force has been deployed to Mtwara to contain the violence.

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Reader's Comments

  • Amen kimaro
    May 25, 2013 @ 04:45:30PM

    In my opinion, the responsible minister should sit down with Mtwara residents and explain to them how they will benefit from the gas, because the residents understand that their children will not get employment opportunities as they will only be taken by Dar es Salaam people. Even if it is a wrong perception on the side of Mtwara people, I don't see any reason to deploy soldiers as that is not war. It's only about seeking equality between government and Mtwara residents in a peaceful manner.

  • Kisanola
    May 25, 2013 @ 03:18:33PM

    For me, it's all right because if the gas remains there, the unemployed will get jobs. Why doesn't our government see that it is too costly to be successful? Our government please look at this with seriousness.

  • Johnson MaCrobert
    May 25, 2013 @ 02:54:56PM

    Are KILIMANJARO/ARUSHA and MTWARA the same? We totally forgot southern people, so now we should remember them. We should listen to their cries then sit down and plan how to PEACEFULLY and QUIETLY settle this matter. And that is the right thing!

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