Land Rights

Growing Protests Bring Ethiopia to the Tipping Point

The past weeks have seen an escalation of ongoing protests across Ethiopia--including widespread acts of resistance like citizens shaving their heads in solidarity with jailed opposition leader Bekele Gerba and stay-at-home protests that have turned bustling cities into near ghost-towns. Despite the undeniable peacefulness of these actions, state violence and repression has continued. Earlier this month, Ethiopia's Prime Minister authorized the National Defence Force to use "its full force to bring rule of law" in the country.

Community Resistance to Senhuile Land Grab Sparks Hope in Senegal

Senegalese agro-pastoralists are striking wins against Senhuile SA, a foreign-owned agribusiness company established in Ndiaël, Saint-Louis Region of Senegal. In 2012, Senhuile obtained a 50 year lease on 20,000 hectares for a sweet potato plantation in a forest and wetland reserve, which was partially declassified to establish agribusiness activities.

Quand Washington Défendait son Champion des Palmiers à Huile au Cameroun

Plusieurs câbles diplomatiques datés de 2013 du département d'État américain, obtenus par le groupe de recherche américain Oakland Institute, montrent les rouages de la diplomatie économique de Washington, venue à la rescousse d'Herakles Farms, dont les activités d'exploitation de palmiers à huile dans le sud-ouest du Cameroun ont suscité des polémiques.

Cables reveal US gov’t role in Herakles Farms land grab in Cameroon

Mike Gaworecki

Cables obtained by the non-profit Oakland Institute through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that U.S. government officials pushed the Central African nation of Cameroon to approve a deeply controversial oil palm development owned by Herakles Farms despite full knowledge of the project’s negative impacts on the environment and local communities.

Herakles Farms: US Government Bullied Cameroon into Land Grab Lease

Oakland, CA—As the Cameroonian government decides whether or not to extend Herakles Farms’ lease for a palm oil plantation this November, a new report by the Oakland Institute reveals how bullying by US government officials may have played a critical role in the initial granting of nearly 20,000 ha in 2013, instead of the cancellation of a clearly flawed project.

Backroom Bullying: The Role of the United States Government in the Herakles Farms’ Land Grab in Cameroon

Backroom Bullying: The Role of the United States Government in the Herakles Farms’ Land Grab in Cameroon, shows how bullying by US government officials may have played a critical role in the granting of nearly 20,000 ha by the Cameroonian government to the US-based firm Herakles Farms in 2013, instead of the cancellation of clearly flawed project.

Feyisa Lilesa: Crossing the Line in Ethiopia

As Feyisa Lilesa, the Ethiopian marathon runner, crossed the finish line on Sunday, winning silver for his country at the Rio Olympics, his hands were crossed high above his head. To some viewers, it might have been a symbol of triumph at the end of a long race. But to those following the political turmoil in Ethiopia, it was a heroic – and dangerous – political act, sending a message globally about the plight of his people.

European Union Bankrolls Deceitful Land Project in Ethiopia

The European Union and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development are funding a €3.8 million ($4.2 million) agricultural initiative in Ethiopia. "Support to Responsible Agricultural Investment" (S2RAI), launched in March 2016, is a three-year long project focused on two western regions of Ethiopia: Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz. According to documents made public at the project-launching workshop in Bishoftu on July 15-16, 2016, S2RAI’s main purpose is to contribute to "improved food and nutrition security by promoting secure land tenure and responsible agricultural investments." Yet, the project overlooks key facts with regard to food security, land, and the political situation in Ethiopia, which discredit this official objective.

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