Tanzania police disperse protesters in Dar calling for release of ATCL plane

Wednesday August 28 2019

Tanzania's riot police hoist a banner ordering protestors to leave or be ejected by force
Tanzania's riot police hoist a banner ordering protestors to leave or be ejected by force outside the South African High Commission in Dar es Salaam on August 28, 2019. PHOTO | BOB KARASHANI | NMG
Tanzania's riot police orders protestors to
Tanzania's riot police orders protestors to leave outside the South African High Commission in Dar es Salaam on August 28, 2019. PHOTO | BOB KARASHANI | NMG
Tanzania's riot police patrol outside the South
Tanzania's riot police patrol outside the South African High Commission in Dar es Salaam on August 28, 2019. PHOTO | BOB KARASHANI | NMG
BOB KARASHANI
By BOB KARASHANI
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Tanzanian riot police on Wednesday afternoon dispersed protesters demanding the release of an Air Tanzania aircraft that had been impounded in South Africa.
The police, hoisting a red banner with a warning that protestors leave or be ejected, arrived at the South African High Commission in Dar es Salaam and broke up the demonstration.

The protesters were seen holding up banners with messages like: "Remember we (Tanzania) sacrificed the little we had to support your (South Africa) struggle against apartheid and today you betray us?"

A demonstrator holds a banner outside the South
A demonstrator holds a banner outside the South African High Commission in Dar es Salaam on August 28, 2019. PHOTO | BOB KARASHANI | NMG

They were also chanting "Tunataka ndege yetu...tunataka ndege yetu.” (We want our plane back...we want our plane back)

It was not immediately clear who was behind the protest.

"We are looking to arrest the organisers and ringleaders as quickly as possible. Whatever these people are demanding should have been presented through proper channels, not this way," Dar es Salaam special zone police commander Lazaro Mambosasa told journalists at the scene.

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"The matter of the plane is now being resolved by government officials through legal channels," added Mambosasa.

South African authorities on Friday impounded an Airbus 220-300 aircraft at Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg over an outstanding compensation claim against the Tanzanian government. The claim as filed by a retired South African farmer.

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