Sonjo

Name ID 1217

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Arusha Integrated Regional Development Plan
Page Number: 6
Extract Date: 1780~

The Iraqw

Paper 1 Land Tenure and Land Use

In Mbulu / Hanang the Iraqw group dominates, speaking a language, classified as Cushitic, very different from the Maasai (Nilo-Hamitic) and the Meru, Sonjo and Mbugwe (Bantu). There are four main divisions of the group:

The Iraqw, mostly on the Mbulu plateau west of the Rift, but spilling over into Hanang around Giting and Endasak,

The Gorava, around Mount Ufiome and Lake Babati,

The Alawa in the northern section of Kondoa (Bereku), and

The Burungi in the south of the same district.

A distant group , the Mbugu, in the Usambara mountains are the only other people in Tanzania of the same language family.

It is uncertain when the Iraqw arrived, perhaps two hundred years ago. They settled in a favourable area Kainam, on the top of the Rift Wall, bounded on the North and South by forest (Marang and Nau) and on the West by dryer country originally inhabited by the pastoral Tatog.

Extract ID: 3225

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Arusha Integrated Regional Development Plan
Page Number: 7d
Extract Date: 1800<

The Sonjo

Paper 1 Land Tenure and Land Use

A small group of settle agricultural people, the Sonjo, have long lived in Maasai country, in fact they were probably there before the Maasai themselves arrived. They have supported themselves by irrigation agriculture and, whilst they have not expanded like the Meru, Arusha and Mbulu, they have maintained themselves for hundreds of years on a basis of sustained yield.

Extract ID: 3229

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See also

IPP Media - including the Guardian
Extract Author: Adam Ihucha, Arusha
Extract Date: 30 Oct 2004

Two dead in Maasai, Sonjo clashes

A fresh round of fighting between Maasai and Sonjo tribesmen in Ngorongoro District has left two people dead.

Arusha Regional Police Commander James Kombe confirmed yesterday that clashes had erupted afresh in Sale Village where a number of houses had also been set ablaze.

He said the fighting broke out after the Sonjo accused the Maasai of stealing six head of cattle from Sonjo herdsmen.

People believed to be Maasai morans (warriors) allegedly drove the cattle off when they raided the homesteads of Sonjo tribesmen identified as Kadir Gandisi and Surambaya Sayembe.

Sonjo tribesmen followed the animalsí tracks and traced them to a boma belonging to Patareto Kikonya in Arash Village.

The irate Sonjo men allegedly shot Kikonya to death with arrows before torching five houses in the village.

Having accomplished their mission in Arash Village, the Sonjo tribesmen went to Maloni Village where they attacked villagers and torched some houses, Kombe said.

A Maasai elder, identified as Olekungu ole Onyokite, was reportedly burnt to death in one of the houses.

Kombe said hundreds of people had been left homeless as a result of the violence which was quelled by a unit of regular and riot police sent to the area.

Two people were arrested in connection with the clashes. They are Makandoma Simon, 23, and Barannobi Charles, 27, both residents of Sale Village.

Kombe said more police officers had been sent to the area to ensure that the violence did not recur.

The latest violence erupted just four weeks after the two ethnic groups clashed in Loliondo, Ngorongoro District, leaving scores of people seriously wounded and tens more homeless.

The first serious confrontation between the Maasai and Sonjo this year took place in July in Kisangiro Village, Ngorongoro District.

One person was killed in the clashes.

Extract ID: 4891

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: By Our Correspondents
Page Number: 353
Extract Date: 22 Jan 2005

After fierce clashes, Maasai and Sonjo now agree to live in peace

The Maasai and Sonjo tribes have agreed to bury their ages-old hostilities after the recent violent clashes that claimed human lives and destruction of property worth millions of shillings.

A meeting convened by the Arusha regional leadership last week in Loliondo, which involved traditional leaders of both communities, resolved that tribal clashes between the two groups should now come to an end.

An accord to end hostility and violent clashes between them was signed by 25 elders from each side in the presence of the Regional Commissioner Mohamed Babu, Ngorongoro District Commissioner Captain Asseri Msangi, District Executive Director Nicholas Kileka, village leaders and conflict resolution experts from the Irish embassy in Dar es Salaam.

Violent clashes between the two neighbouring groups erupted last June over grazing land and livestock theft. Accounts by villagers interviewed by journalists who visited the area recently indicated that some individuals were killed, scores injured, many families uprooted after their houses were torched and livestock forcibly driven away.

Many people have been killed since 1880s in violent clashes pitting the Maasai, a cattle herding tribe which constitutes 80 per cent of Ngorongoro district's population of 140,000 and a tiny but fierce Sonjo tribe whose population is estimated to be 14,000.

It was agreed at a two-day meeting that the boundaries of all 37 villages in the district be re-drawn in order to avoid further clashes on grazing and farming areas for the two tribes.

The meeting resolved that livestock theft one of the main sources of the age-old conflict, should come to an end forthwith and that the police and other security organs should intensify security in Salle and Loliondo divisions to ensure there was no recurrence of bloody fighting.

The Regional Commissioner said the government would assist people rebuild their houses and cattle bomas which were torched during the clashes but insisted that there would be no compensation for property lost or destroyed and for people injured or killed.

Extract ID: 4969

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Arusha Times Reporter
Page Number: 367
Extract Date: 30 April 2005

One killed as Loliondo tribal clashes erupt again

Fresh outbreaks of the notorious tribal clashes between Maasai and Sonjo tribes in Loliondo location of Ngorongoro district erupted again last week despite two peace agreements that were signed by leaders of both factions in a period of just six months.

The Arusha Acting Regional Police Commander, Godfrey Nzowa, said one person has been killed in the clashes. The fights razed the Oldonyosambu village where hundreds were injured and over 30 houses reduced to ashes.

Nzowa, who is also the Regional Crime Officer, named the deceased person as Kanusha Tungasi a 20-year old man from Jema village. Two seriously injured persons, who have been admitted at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medial Centre (KCMC) are: Kanyodori Kasunga (50) and William Samawa (25) all from the Sonjo ethnic group.

"When police arrived at the scene, the fighters from both sides escaped into the forest," Said Nzowa , adding that the situation in the village was somewhat calm at the moment.

Reports from Loliondo indicate that fresh clashes had erupted after the Maasai moranis from the Loita clan, allegedly invaded the Sonjo territory and stole therein, herds of cattle. The cattle have been recovered during the fight.

Clashes between the Loita clan of the Maasai and the Butime minority ethnic group popularly known as Sonjo, date back to the 18th century, but has erupted twice last year, claiming lives of five people, injuring others and reducing about 400 houses to ashes.

The rival ethnic groups, tried to end their cattle rustling and land disputes when 25 leaders from each faction signed a peace accord brokered by the Arusha Regional Commissioner, Mohamed Babu, in collaboration with the Ngorongoro District Commissioner, Mr Assery Msangi, the District Executive Director (DED), Mr Nicholaus Kileka, traditional leaders and experts from the Irish Embassy.

The agreement followed a two-day meeting held at the Ngorongoro District Council hall during which the two sides agreed to bury the hatchet, conduct a seminar on the new Land Act and to appoint a committee to supervise land demarcation for 37 villages involved in the conflict.

Both sides also agreed during the meeting that the two ethnic groups would have equal representation in the decision making machinery of the area, improving infrastructure of the area and improving security of the area so as to find a lasting solution for cattle rustling between the two ethnic groups.

No compensation was to be paid to lives or property lost as a result of the conflict and the government had been asked to put in place pipe water infrastructure in all affected areas.

A goodwill committee comprising members from both sides was to be appointed to educate the Loliondo residents on the peace deal and to convene regular meetings aimed at cultivating good neighbourhood relations among the Masai and Wasonjo.

The ethnic groups had in February this year signed their latest agreement to end the conflicts, which since 1880 are believed to have claimed about 5,000 lives.

The first agreement was reached mid September last year when 20 leaders from each faction converged for four days at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) Arusha campus in Ngaramtoni.

Representatives stormed out in disagreement at certain times during the SUA reconciliation talks, compelling the mediators, RC Babu, the Minister for Water and Livestock Development, Edward Lowasa, the Member of Parliament for Loliondo constituency, Mr Matthew Ole Timany, and other district leaders to split them into two working groups to tackle sensitive issues.

Extract ID: 5069
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