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Conflict over landownership: The case of farmers and cattle graziers in the northwest region of Cameroon

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Abstract:

This article examines the general underlying principles of landownership in Cameroon and the northwest region in particular. It argues that the recurrent conflicts involving farmers and cattle graziers over landownership in the northwest region of Cameroon have their roots in scarcity of land, climate change and the ‘poor’ application of statutory laws guaranteeing landownership. Although some farmers have struggled to enjoy their right to use land, a culture of acknowledging their right to control land during land contention is yet to take hold. In some instances, the laws continue to be disregarded in favour of wealthy cattle graziers against farmers’ right to own land. This study argues that there cannot be peace, tenure, security and stability in the region without some attempt at resolving this perennial phenomenon of land conflict between farmers and cattle graziers. Resolving this problem will require the institution of land reform and some proactive measures to address the region’s landrelated conflicts.

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