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Tanzania: Information on the treatment of Sad clan or tribe members in Tanzania

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 May 1989
Citation / Document Symbol TZA1034
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Tanzania: Information on the treatment of Sad clan or tribe members in Tanzania, 1 May 1989, TZA1034, available at: [accessed 29 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


No information on the Sad clan or tribe in Tanzania could be found among the sources presently available to the IRBDC, Ottawa. However, the following information may be useful.

 Tanzania has over 130 ethnic groups, most of them divided into many tribes and clans. [ Encyclopedia of the Third World, (New York: Facts on File, 1987), p. 1904. ] The Encyclopedia of the Third World reports that discriminatory or abusive practices based on ethnicity, are focused on the Asian community. However, the latest edition of the U.S. Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1988 (Washington, February 1989), reports a group of northern Tanzania, the Hadzabes, have been decimated in the last few years; their population having been reduced from 2,000 to 250, primarily as a result of displacement by wheat farmers. A similar situation is reported by the same source to be taking place among the Barabeig people. [ Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1988, (Washington: U.S. Department of State, 1989), p. 375.]

 The other case of social conflict reported among the available sources, refers to violence which has erupted within the Muslim community, particularly on the island of Zanzibar. The government has responded to political conflicts by increasing its paramilitary presence on the island and making numerous arrests. [ New African, July 1988, pp. 18-19; Urgent Action, (London, Amnesty International), 1 June 1988.] One report indicates there is growing contempt towards Arabs, a minority on Zanzibar, who have traditionally lived in peaceful coexistence with their non-Arab neighbours. [ Africa Confidential, (London, Miramoor Publications), 19 February 1988, p. 2.]

 Under the government of Julius Nyerere, members of the Kurya tribe formed the predominant elements of the armed forces and most of the police and prison services. [ Africa Confidential, 4 November 1987, p. 3.] Aside from this, no other case of discrimination based on tribal/ethnic affiliation is reported among the available sources.

 Tanzania has received, for the last decades, several thousand refugees from other African countries. [ Migration News, July-December 1987, pp. 41-43.] This influx has increased the ethnic and social variety of the country, already considered one of the world's most ethnically varied populations. [ Encyclopedia of the Third World, p. 1904. ] In the southern region of the country, the Mozambique National Resistance guerrilla (RENAMO) has reportedly caused damage and displacement of the Tanzanian population. [ Africa Confidential, 19 August 1989, p. 8.]

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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