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Liberia: Failure to Pass Land Law Could Plunge Nation Back Into Conflict – Activists

Picture: Travis Lupic/ Focal Point on Land in Africa

The land tenure reform process provides an opportunity to right issues with the current criminal framework regarding girls’s property rights, and to handle the a lot of gaps and overlaps between the statutory and conventional legal techniques.

Dakar — Liberia’s failure to Pass a long-awaited Legislation recognising the rights of rural communities to their ancestral lands Could plunge the West African nation Again into civil war, a coalition of civil society teams MENTIONED on Thursday.

The draft Land Rights Act, which would acknowledge conventional rights to land, was submitted to Liberia’s Senate in September 2014, but activists have criticised a scarcity of progress because.

If the federal government does no longer Pass the act before its recess in August, it could be delayed unless after subsequent year’s elections, leaving the legislation in limbo, SAID the Civil Society Businesses (CSO) Working Workforce on Land Rights in Liberia.

Greater Than half of Liberia’s 4.Three million people live to tell the tale land held beneath universal tenure, which supplies conventional rights to land but is just not secured or recognized Via legal title, MENTIONED the united states Company for International Construction (USAID).

“Failure to understand the rights of hundreds of thousands of Liberians to their frequent lands jeopardises peace and safety, and could fuel a slide Back into the conflicts that devastated our us of a for many years,” the 18 civil society teams MENTIONED in a commentary.

Disputes over land and natural Instruments underneath standard ownership have been among the many drivers of 14 years of civil wars that resulted in a whole bunch of heaps of deaths, the CSO SAID.

In a 2008 Report, the Liberia Actuality and Reconciliation Commission referred to as land disputes a threat to nationwide peace.

Following the West Africa nation’s 2d civil conflict, which led to 2003, the federal government accelerated lengthy-standing policies which granted natural Resource concessions to Foreign firms.

Foreign concessions for palm oil manufacturing were at the centre of reforms which the arena Financial Institution has credited for transforming Liberia into a promising situation for buyers.

But The concessions for logging, mining and agriculture – which cover Greater Than 40 % of the u . s . a . – ignore the communities dwelling there and fan tensions, according to the CSO.

An diagnosis printed With The Aid Of the Rights and Instruments Initiative (RRI) discovered that of 237 mining and agriculture concessions in Liberia, masking nearly Forty,000 square kilometres (15,450 square miles), all had centered communities dwelling in them.

“If its (Liberia’s) leaders try to gasoline Building By Way Of selling off group lands to the absolute best bidder, the price will as soon as once more be instability and Struggle,” Solange Bandiaky-Badji, Director for Africa at the RRI, MENTIONED in a observation.

An estimated 90 percent of Liberia’s civil courtroom circumstances are related to land and as many as Sixty Three p.c of violent conflicts in Liberia are rooted in land rights issues.

– Reporting By Way Of Kieran Guilbert, Editing Via Jo Griffin

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