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Mer01282015

Last updateMer, 28 Jan 2015 10am

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Land sale in Senegal's river valley

Organisation denounces land sale in Senegal's river valley - A black nationalist movement, the African Liberation Forces of Mauritania (FLAM), has condemned the selling of prime land in Senegal's River Valley to Saudi businessmen.

In a statement issued here Monday, FLAM said landowners were being dispossessed of their land so that such property can be sold off to foreigners.

It said 31,000 hectares of land, located in the district of Boghé, 300 kilometres southeast of the capital , Nouakchott, have been sold by the Government of Mauritania to Saudi businessmen, who have in turn committed to invest US$1 billion in agriculture, aquaculture and production of animal feed .

'The government's decision ignores the interests of the people and constitutes a denial of property rights,' the movement said, adding that those involved would be turned into laborers on their own land.

It said access to land must first be open to Mauritanians from the locality, before it becomes open to other nationals and then to sub-regional and international investors, while the rights of peasants, shepherds and fishermen must be preserved.

The people of the area have written to President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to denounce the government’s decision.

The people have been protesting the expropriation of their land on the basis of an edict that was enacted in 1983, when Mauritania was ruled by a military junta.

Pana 24/02/2014