28 January 2013

Tanzania: Protests Over Mtwara Gas Pipeline Leave Four Dead, 12 Injured

Photo: Heipmann
The Tanzanian government plans to build a pipeline to carry natural gas from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam.

Protestors in Tanzania's Mtwara region clashed with police at the weekend, leaving four people dead and 12 injured, Tanzania's The Guardian reported Monday (January 28th).

Mtwara residents have been holding a series of protests over a planned gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa that would pass through Mtwara.

On Sunday, protestors destroyed 11 vehicles belonging to the Masasi District Council and set fire to a court building, the district education office and several local officials' homes.

"We are still assessing the damage caused by the rioters," said Mtwara Assistant Commissioner of Police Mary Nzuki. "I urge people to be patient, avoid taking the law into their own hands while respective organs like the police and court work on the matter."

Police arrested 44 people in connection with the riots, she said, adding that only one of the deceased has been identified so far.

Kigoma legislator Zitto Kabwe urged the government to listen to the concerns of Mtwara residents. "The government needs to show by facts how Mtwara communities will benefit from this project," he said on Sunday. "The government must not turn a deaf ear or politicise the issue of Mtwara. It must re-examine itself carefully and respect people's views to solve the situation."

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