Respecting the Land Ownership Rights of Both Internally Displaced Persons and Host Communities

Sandrine Kouba and Guy Lebrun Ambomo
Date published
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Cameroon has a great tradition of welcoming refugees from neighboring countries. In the past, this was justified by a few ups and downs, such as the Bakassi conflict. Currently, Cameroon is affected by several internal and external crises causing displacements of populations. These include the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), Boko Haram’s repeated attacks on the Nigerian border strip, and the political crisis in the North-West and South-West regions of the country.

The settlement of displaced persons (IDPs and refugees) often requires previously inhabited spaces used by host communities for their production activities and are governed by both customary and modern law. The communities that host them often live in precarious conditions themselves. The purpose of this study is to analyze the legal framework and land acquisition practices for the settlement of refugees and internally displaced persons in relation to the land rights of host communities. At a time when the reform of the land Act is underway, it is necessary to formulate proposals that take into account the migration context created by conflicts.