Land Day in Eritrea?
The Nharnet Team wishes to remind Eritreans that the confiscation of land to state ownership by the dictatorial PFDJ regime in Eritrea is illegal act that requires a call for popular resistance and action to see to it that the land problem is addressed in a just manner. Eritreans should consider designating 24 August 1994 as Land Day calling for action against PFDJ’s theft of land, which is both the valued property and dignity of our people at their respective localities.
The ELF-RC has consistently voiced its strong rejection of PFDJ’s Land Proclamation of 1994 that expropriated our people’s sovereign right over their land. One of the earliest statements of our organization on the issue of land was released on 27 March 1995 following a meeting of the Revolutionary Council. A few paragraphs from that long and historic statement partly read as follows:
“ELF-RC’s Position on the land question: The issue of land, like many other issues of fundamental importance to the Nation, can be regulated by a durable national land tenure system adopted by a legitimate national authority that our people establish within a genuine multiparty democratic governance guided by a national constitution.
“Firmly upholding this principle, the ELF-RC rejects the EPLF’s land law in both its letter and spirit. Therefore, our organization vows to defeat the Proclamation in the process of a democratic struggle. Based on this principled position, the ELF-RC shall strive to attain the following objectives
5. The bill providing equal ownership and use of land by women should be enacted.
“Methods of using land:
· Principal beneficiaries of any land shall be its rightful owners in the respective villages, clans, tribes etc. Thus, any endeavour at construction and development, cooperative works, introduction of modern farming methods and building small-scale agro-industries cannot be seen or considered outside that framework.
· Besides ascertaining the consent of the owner(s), the state (with a democratically elected government) shall offer fair alternative or pay compensation for any land it uses for public purposes.
· Investors in land or in construction sites must enter with owner(s) into contract in a framework of clearly understood legal terms providing for: a) fair compensation or rent, b) priority work opportunity to the owner(s) or residents in the vicinity of the land in question.
“The ELF-RC is determined to defend its position vis-à-vis the issue of land. It intends to struggle in order to translate its principles into law within a democratic system and support of the people in a free referendum.
“ The EPLF’s imposed Land Proclamation shall be defeated along with its authors by the democratic action and struggle of the Eritrean people and be replaced by popularly endorsed law. Thus, Eritreans inside and outside of the country are hereby called to unify their efforts to bring an early downfall of the oppressive regime and its imposed laws”.
The Revolutionary Council of the ELF-RC,
27 March 1995.
N.B. Consult nearest ELF-RC office or branch leadership for the full version of the statement in official languages presented in a brochure form. Also available is the English version of the statement in The Eritrean Newsletter issue No. 65 of June-July 1995.
Contact Us at: email@example.com