Land rights in postwar Liberia: the volatile part of the peace process
- The end to the war in Liberia, along with quality leadership and a large UN presence has laid the foundation for a successful peace process. Now the delicate part of the process is underway—building viable, equitable, and durable social relations, institutions and legal constructs. A potentially volatile part of any postwar scenario is the inability of land rights institutions to perform in an effective, legitimate, equitable manner. Reform of land tenure via policies, laws, institutions, and capacity, needs to happen in a manner that is able to attend to both the land rights related causes of conflict, and the tangle of land problems brought on by the war itself. This article reports on the current situation in Liberia, and examines the primary set of land tenure problems in the country. The article concludes with a series of suggestions for dealing with the unique circumstances of postwar land tenure, and the Liberian case.
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