has been widely discussed in recent years. It seems quite evident why: Corporate
investment in farmland has increased significantly and severely impacted many local
communities. But this is only one reason why land grabbing has become a
prominent topic. As I discuss in this article, it has also been “successfully” made
visible by activists.
by Rosine Tchatchoua-Djomo, Leiden University, the Netherlands
The shift from violence to peace in Burundi has been marked by heavy contestations over land as a result of mass displacement and repatriation (see Kamungi, Oketch & Huggins, 2005). To facilitate policy-making, these land disputes have been framed by different (inter-)national actors as opposing two major camps: repatriates vs occupants. In this dichotomist representation, repatriates refer mainly to former Hutu civilians who fled mass violence perpetrated by former Tutsi-dominated ruling regimes; while occupants involve civilians who took over refugees’ land in their prolonged absence. Yet, these land disputes are much more complex than that. Read more