Ethiopia scenery Sean Gallup/Getty Images

En Afrique, la gestion foncière est une gestion de crise

WASHINGTON, DC – L'Éthiopie traverse sa pire crise politique depuis des décennies. Après des mois d'escalade des protestations et des conflits qui ont tué des centaines de personnes, le 9 octobre le gouvernement éthiopien a proclamé l'état d'urgence.

Le conflit éthiopien est dû en partie à des tensions ethniques et au ressentiment contre l'emprise d'une petite élite sur les richesses et la puissance du pays. Mais un autre facteur crucial, bien que relativement négligé, est le système de gestion foncière de l'Éthiopie. En effet, la crise a commencé l'année dernière par une sécheresse grave qui a affamé dix millions de personnes et par des litiges sur la propriété des terres qui ont déclenché des protestations contre les politiques foncières d'expropriation du gouvernement.

L'Éthiopie n'est malheureusement pas le seul exemple récent de la façon dont les conflits sur les droits fonciers peuvent ouvrir la voie à des crises politiques et humanitaires. La concurrence pour les terres arables a contribué au génocide rwandais en 1994. Une sécheresse historique pourrait avoir créé les conditions d'une guerre civile en Syrie. Et l'insécurité alimentaire résultant de la mauvaise gestion foncière est un facteur important qui pousse les migrants vers l'Europe.

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