Report: Gov’t Policies Spurring Violent Land Disputes in Rural Egypt
By Mohammad Baali
Albawaba.com – Cairo
Some 135 Egyptians have been killed and 929 injured in the last three years during rural clashes related to government “reform” policies, economic restructuring and land reclamation programs, according to the latest report by the Egyptian Earth Center for Human Rights.
In addition, more than 1,364 people have been arrested, according to the report, which calls on the government to stop expelling farmers from state-owned lands.
The report, entitled The Situation of Farmers in Egypt, urges the government to sell the land to farmers at special rates.
It also calls for the cancellation of the farmers’ debts, particularly those of small landowners and young men, and recommends the completion of rural infrastructure projects.
The report, a copy of which was obtained by Albawaba.com, also attributes the violence to the penetration of the market economy into the countryside, and disputes over irrigation, ownership, borders and wills.
This is in addition to conflicts arising from a major reshuffling of the regulations governing land leasing, which began to be felt in 1997 –Albawaba.com