Dar es Salaam. A police officer was on Friday June 10 killed in the tensions that has erupted as a result of the exercise of demarcating the Loliondo Game Reserve, Arusha Regional Commissioner John Mogella has confirmed.
According to Mongella the police office was killed by an arrow which was shot by a group of people who wanted to disrupt the exercise.
"Unfortunately yesterday afternoon one of our police officers was shot dead by a group of people who came out and wanted to affect the exercise and injure those who were continuing the exercise," he said.
"It is very unfortunate, but we recognize the contribution of this patriotic police officer,” he said, adding that the disappointing scenario occurred just after a statement from the prime minister in the morning concerning the place and livelihood of the people
Speaking to media outlets Mr Mongela said that the leadership of the region, the district, as well as the security forces were all in Loliondo and that the situation was calm as they continued the exercise of demarcation.
Mr Mongela noted that the exercise was progressing well in the presence of the security forces in order to protect the area as well as the people present because it was the responsibility of the agencies.
However, recalling a statement made by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on the government's intention in the area earlier in Parliament yesterday, Mr Mongela seemed disturbed with the killing of a police officer.
However, he stressed that the exercise was ongoing and at the time he was speaking there were no casualties in all areas including all hospitals and health centres as he allayed fears about the video clips and images posted on social media.
"Unfortunately most of the pictures have been identified as of three to four years ago. If there is anyone with an injury caused by our security forces or our authorities, they should come forward so that they can get services,” he said.
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday also said there was no chaos, trashing accusations of police involvement in the matter.
He noted that the government was planting beacons to demarcate the 1,500 square kilometer conservation area in Loliondo from the part allocated for human activities.
This was after Videos and images circulated via social media showed scenes of a Maasai community gathering to protest against the police who were reportedly sent to provide security during the planned land demarcation exercise.