Land Grabbing in Mali: Farmers arrested

CNOP, UACDDDD, CAD, LJDH and AOPP Against Land Grabbing

Press release

(Bamako, 24 April 2012) Since 2009, men and women peasants of the Office du Niger in Mali, in particular those from Sanamadougou, Saou and Sansanding are being treated unfairly by certain investors. The targeted wrongs include bastonnades, or beatings with sticks and other weapons, arrests, the destruction of seed and seedlings, field grabbing and the grabbing of water supply sources. Dozens of families are now living from the solidarity of the other villages, having been unable to cultivate for three years, due to the lack of fields.

In spite of numerous attempts by the villagers to contact and engage with the authorities at all levels, the situation remains unchanged.

In the run-up to the agricultural campaign, the peasants of Sanamadougou and Saou began preparing on 23 April 2012. They were very surprised when four of their leaders, including the village chief, were arrested and taken to the Brigade de gendarmerie in Markala.

In view of the situation in the country, we believe that our dear homeland is better served by a soothing and sacred union of all its sons and daughters, than by social tension.

Therefore, we, the CNOP, UACDDDD, CAD Mali, LJDH, and AOPP call on the domestic and international communities to bear witness to these arrests. We are sending a delegation to the field today.

We demand the fulfilment of commitments made during the UACDDDD’s protest march against land grabbing, on Tuesday, 13 March 2012, in front of the Cité administrative.

Finally, we call on Malian authorities to take responsibility and all necessary measures for the freeing of the detainees, so that they may all, women and men, be able to go back to work in their fields.

Don’t touch my land, don’t touch my home, don’t touch my militants

Contact :

UACDDDD : +223 76 49 03 15 – CNOP : 66 76 11 26 – 76 81 87 93 – CAD Mali: 76 42 36 64 – 76 41 55 86

LJDH : 66 63 21 48 – AOPP : 79 19 48 71