Mali: there is a crucial difference between the history of land and the law applying to it – Minister Bathily
On a sensizibilation mission on land ownership and rights in the Kayes region, in the South Western part of Mali, the minister of public domains and land affairs, Mohamed Ali Bathily, recalled how important it is to respect land legislation in order to tackle land conflicts. The official in fact blamed local authorities of contributing to the sustaining of the phenomenon.
“Administrators, local elects and often village chiefs, in order to satisfy their personal interests, and those of the highest bidders, to the detriment of real owners, change rules. Legal procedures and means to award lands are the only way to have a peaceful social environment, insure cohesion and stability in the country,” the minister said.
In response to complaints of locals which believe they are cheated in the distribution and management of agricultural lands, the minister has decided to inform the people properly. He thus told them not to merely assume ownership as it is usually done and take the right steps to secure their lands.
“There is a crucial difference between the history of a land and the law applying to it. Ownership of a land is acknowledged only after one exploits this land over a specific period of time. You just don’t say it is yours on the pretense that your ancestors were the first to live on it,” he explained.