On Day 3 of ILC Africa’s Regional Assembly, a press conference held at hotel Mont Fébe, to enlighten members of the press about the importance of recognising and securing Indigenous Peoples land rights.
The occasion honouring the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) invited a mixed panel of 10 international and national actors and Indigenous Peoples from 6 countries.
ILC is a global alliance of civil society and intergovernmental organisations working together to put people at the centre of land governance. ILC has been working closely with Indigenous Groups to ensure the recognition of Indigenous rights thus the press conference was a crucial part of the Regional Assembly.
Delegates representing Indigenous Groups from Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, DRC and Cameroon revealed mountains of challenges Indigenous Peoples face in their respective countries. Evictions, land grabbing, unfair compensation for land expropriation, and lack of recognition top the list of their challenges.
During the press briefing attended by Cameroon News Today-CNT , panelists suggested Indigenous Peoples do not sufficiently feel represented at all levels of the state. For example, Pigmies and Mbororos are under-represented in elective positions
ILC Africa 2017 Regional Assembly that began on Tuesday 12 September at the University of Yaoundé 2 with an international colloquium on land reforms, assembled over 70 participants from 22 countries. This years’ theme focused on land governance in Africa: challenges and solutions from national experiences.
ILC Africa have set up a commitment to “respect and protect the inherent land and territorial rights of Indigenous Peoples”. Michael Taylor, ILC Director explained that ILC members worked for 20 years for the adoption of the UNDRIP and the declaration in 2007 was a huge victory for them as they were recognised at the highest level.
“What we now see in reality is that most of the aspirations made in the declaration are yet to be fulfilled,” he adds. Cameroon voted for the UNDRIP in 2007 and already recognise Indigenous Peoples. There are 8 000 indigenous Peoples in Cameroon according to country statistics