By Prof. Wolfgang H. Thome, Ph.D., eTN Africa Correspondent | Aug 26, 2015
In a decision recently handed down, the Appeals Division of the Arusha-based East African Court of Justice upheld three of four points from the ruling of the lower court in regard to a permanent injunction sought by the African Network for Animal Welfare (ANEW), on behalf of the Tanzanian, East African and global conservation community. This ruling is seen as a massive setback for the Tanzanian government, which had claimed that the court had no jurisdiction over the matter, as the country had not formally signed the protocol covering environmental matters. Both the public and the Appeals Court regard this as a lame excuse, an attempt to weasel out of commitments made by Tanzania upon accepting the protocol provisions in the first place. The June 2014 decision now stands and Tanzania will find it next to impossible to build either a paved or un-paved highway across the Serengeti’s most vulnerable migration routes. With ANEW bolstered by the success, it is expected that any attempts to build the highway will meet with yet more legal challenges. Tanzania, already rattled and shamed by the fact that the full scale of the elephant slaughter under the present regime has become public knowledge, may not find any high ground to defend a road project which is bound to decimate the great herds of wildebeest and zebra as well.
Said the Appeals Division in its ruling: “It is quite evident that, were the authorities of [Tanzania] to take any measures to activate their initial plan to construct the Super Highway through the Serengeti, as originally conceived, they would have, without a doubt, fallen foul of the [The East African Treaty].” Read More