Culture & LifeIn The News

Land Conflict in Côte d’Ivore: Local Communities Defend Their Rights Against SIAT and the State

It all started one morning in August 2011 when three village communities in eastern-central Côte d’Ivoire learned that a Belgian corporation called SIAT was about to move onto their land. Not long afterward, an agribusiness firm started putting in a rubber monoculture on 11,000 ha that the communities had neither sold nor ceded and that SIAT was not entitled to exploit.

Today, a visit to the affected villages – Famienkro, Koffessou-Groumania, and Timbo – is a saddening experience, and empty pantries are the communities’ daily lot. They now have to buy their food, but with what money? Many landless peasants have become dependent on SIAT to feed their families. 

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