Bamako, Recommendations Following a Successful Forum
Over 1,000 people, including delegates from various regions, attended the second Evicted People's Forum, held last October 23, 2011 at the Pyramid of Remembrance in Bamako and organized by UACDDDD. It's central theme was: "Deprived of land, habitat, and rights in Africa and elsewhere: how do we get to the roots of the issues and address the problems that victims face?"
Thousands of people across Mali are victims of injustice. They are crying out for help. But their cry is unheard and injustice continues unabated. The harsh realization of what is happening in a so-called democratic country is what led to the formation of a group called UNION, whose objective is to fight against injustice in all its forms. It has taken them years of hard work to help victims get out of the rut.
The forum, held as part of World Habitat Days, is one such effort- it went very well.
A large number of men, women and children came to express their frustrations over a burdensome problem that confronts them. Several associations were in attendance, such as the Association of Owners of Rural Plots and Concessions in N'Tabacoro, AAPCRN (headed by its Secretary General, Bamiky Touré), the Association of Gardeners Suffering from Leprosy of Djicoroni Para, the Association for the Development of Yirimadio, and the Association for the Development and Safeguarding of Bougouba, to name a few. The words on the banners spoke for themselves: "Down with corrupt leaders and demagogues," "Down with influence peddling and all forms of land speculation," "Yes to garden plots for gardeners," "No to land management for sick and disabled lepers by the Mayor of the 4th District, M. Issa Guindo and his cronies: Gulu Moussa Traoré, Mamadou Coulibaly, Becaye Diallo, Adama Sidibe, etc."
The opening remarks given by the President of the Union were followed by the presentation of regional delegations. Two major themes were presented in the forum dedicated to women. "The right to habitat and land" was presented by Mr A T Diarra, and the second theme, "The political motivations for land grabbing in Mali," was presented by Sekou Diarra.
In his speech, Fatiya thanked all those who made an effort to be there. According to Soungalo Koné, favoritism, nepotism and cronyism have become commonplace today, leaving us without values.
The forum dedicated to women was followed by the reading of the recommendations, and the closing remarks were made in the presence of print and broadcast media, who actively participated in the discussion by asking questions and making suggestions.
The 2011 Global Campaign for the Right to Habitat and Land
The 2011 Forum of The Union of Associations and Coordinating Associations for the Development and Defense of Human Rights for the Poor (UACDDDD).
The 2011 UNION Forum in Bamako, held on October 23, 2011,
- following the opening speech of the Secretary General of UNION, in which he presented the network's activities and the role it plays in the global campaign for housing and land;
- after hearing the testimony of Amadou Diarra Tiéoulé, Barrister to the court of Mali, and Director of CAD Mali;
- after hearing the successive testimonies of the representatives of member associations in their description of cases involving evictions, illegal expropriations, the imprisonment of farmers, etc;
- and after exchanges and fruitful discussions with the participants,
resulted in the following recommendations:
Mali is a State under the rule of law. As such, the forum recommends that the laws of the Republic be enforced, and that the rights and freedoms of its citizens be upheld.
That court decisions be upheld (The case of Sabalibougou 140m and the Dibida market)
Recommendation #3 (Evictions)
- The participants are aware of the number of eviction cases and the fact that customary rights are not recognized.
Recommendation #4 (Expropriation)
- Taking into consideration the specific case of N'Tabacoro in which the State, by virtue of decree 09-190/PRM issued on May 4, 2009, expropriated 350 hectares, involving hundreds of land titles;
- In light of the fact that expropriation procedures were not in accordance with the Land Code;
- Taking into account that the Land Code makes no stipulation that social housing should be in the interest of the public;
- In response to the complaint dated July 20, 2009, registered under n° 1099 by the administrative section of the Supreme Court of Mali,
the Forum recommends that owners whose plots are currently occupied by social housing be compensated, and that the government reconsider its position by revoking the decree, thereby permitting owners to keep their titles.
The same should apply to similar cases.
Recommendation #5 (Fields)
Given the importance of agricultural activities in Mali, UNION recommends:
- that certain areas be set aside for these activities;
- that farmers still imprisoned in the N'Gouan districts of Djikéna, Sassanding, etc. be released.
Resolutions were formulated at the end of the General Assemblies, held from Dec. 7-11, 2009 by the Ministry of Housing, Land Development and Urbanism in response to the increasing deterioration of the land situation in Mali. The Forum recommends that these resolutions be published before they are applied.
- Given that the Ministry of Administration of Territories and Local Collectivities has established an inter-ministerial commission for the purpose of resolving disputes within the UACDDDD (Union-MALI), and
- in light of the fact that reports of this commission are available,
the forum recommends that the commission's resolutions be implemented as quickly as possible.
Considering that numerous cases of victims of land embezzlement, misappropriation, and speculation were brought up during the discussion, the Forum recommends that those who create false documents be prosecuted.
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El(la) siguiente Traductor(a) Voluntario(a) por el derecho a la vivienda sin fronteras de la AIH colaboró con la traducción de este texto: