Land tenure and the peace process in Mozambique: The role of land dispute resolution in "critical resource" areas
AuthorUnruh, Jon Darrel, 1958-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe recent 16 year civil war in Mozambique dislocated approximately six million people (primarily small-scale agriculturalists) from land resources to which they are now returning and re-claiming; comprising the largest return and re-integration of refugees and displaced persons in the history of Africa. The UN expects to continue its resettlement activities in Mozambique until the year 2000. However re-access to land resources is problematic due to overlapping land claims stemming from the reforming state land tenure system, including a reformulating land law. Land concessions are being granted from different ministries at the national, provincial, and district level with no coordination, enforcement, or mechanisms to resolve competing claims between smallholders and concessionaires. Disputes over land resources between participants in a national versus customary tenure system, and the inability of the two to connect in terms of how such disputes are resolved in ways that are viewed as secure and legitimate (and therefore respected) by participants in both systems, can have especially serious repercussions in periods of recovery from armed conflict. The intersection of land tenure system (including formal and customary "laws") and identity is crucial in this regard. This dissertation examines the role "critical resource" tenure following Mozambique's war, and how the conflict between reformulating customary and state land tenure systems aggravates the 'disconnect' between state and customary identities, and works against the peace process underway in the country. In the wake of the Somalia debacle, the UN and the international community are compelled to examine new operational modalities that specifically address the issues that can jeopardize a peace process. This dissertation makes the argument that land tenure in critical resource areas following armed conflict is such a problematic issue, and that attention to this issue needs to become an integral part of the peace process in societies where agriculture is fundamental to recovery.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Geography and Regional Planning