Movements Unite in Mali, Confronting Powerful Interests : “We are decolonizing Africa here”

Nyéléni, Mali – 19 November 2011 —The National Confederation of Peasant Organization’s (CNOP) agroecological training center stands at the crossroads of the West African countryside. Surrounded with rich Malian farmland and dotted with white thatched-roof huts, the Niger River snakes into the horizon on one side, and a dusty road connects the property to the sleepy town of Sélingué. Today, well into the first International Peasant’s Conference, the center was buzzing with activity as peasants from across Africa and around the world worked together to envision communities where land is more than a commodity.


photo: Philippe Revelli

“This is the kind of awareness-raising that has the potential to change policy,” said Ibrahima Coulibaly, CNOP’s president and a Via Campesina leader. “As local and national movements, we need to fight together against the global structures that threaten our communities,” he added.

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Farmers mobilise to find solutions against land grabbing

Sélingué, Mali, 17 November 2011 – Today, more than 250 participants, mainly representatives of farmers’ organisations, from thirty different countries gathered in Nyéléni Village, a centre for agro-ecology training built in a rural area near Sélingué, in Mali, to participate into the first International farmers’ conference to stop land grabbing. The Nyéléni village is a symbolic place, where the first international conference on Food Sovereignty was held in 2007. For three days, from the 17 to the 20 of November, participants are exchanging their experiences and creating alliances to stop the global land grab.

Land grabbing is happening everywhere, making the daily struggle of rural communities worldwide for survival even more difficult. Rights of family farmers, as well as pastoralists, artisanal fishers and indigenous communities, are violated constantly and their territories are being increasingly militarised. Small scale food production is replaced by large monoculture plantations for export and local farmers are left without land, without jobs, without food. This is why peasant organisations decided to mobilise together against this problem and create a space for exchanging experiences and finding common solutions.

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“Without the land we cannot live”

Interview with Maria Luiza Agusta Clodé


Photo: Philippe Revelli

Sélingué, Mali – 19 November 2011 – My name is Maria Luiza Agusta Clodé. I am 35 years old and I am from a small village called Pelando in the Cacheu region of the Canchungo province in Guinea Bassau. I am member of the association Grupo Juro, that is part of the platform of the Associations and organisations of Guinea Bissau (QNCOCPA – Quadro Nacional de concertação des organisaçoĕs Camponesas e productoras agricolas). The name of my association: Grupo Juro means “to promise, to give your word, to resist and stand firm”.

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International Peasant Conference : Stop the land grab

Press invitation

17-19 November, Mali

(Bamako, 28 October 2011) The farmers of the National Coordination of Farming Organizations (CNOP) in Mali and the international farmers’ movement Via Campesina hereby invite the press to cover the first international farmers’ conference whose objective is tostrengthen the fight against the land grabs which are rife in Africa and other parts of the world.

The conference will be held in Sélingué from 17 to 19 November 2011, and will bring together almost 200 farmers affected by land grabs as well as numerous other participants, including researchers, political figures, and NGOs resisting the unprecedented land-grab offensive by large businesses and hedge funds, among others, that compromises the ability of people to feed themselves.

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