An assessment undertaken by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Somaliland in 2011, indicated that 90% of the civil cases in the courts related to land issues. In South Central Somalia, land grabbing is extremely common. Since the appointment of the federal government in 2012, there have also been numerous accounts of forced evictions, organised by the government and facilitated by the military in Mogadishu.
Conflicts over land in Somalia have had a disproportionate effect on women and children, who make up most of the Internally Displaced Person (IDP) population, and who traditionally cannot inherit land and have unequal negotiating power in customary dispute resolution processes.
How is LAW addressing this problem?
Read LAW’s report on the Harmonisation of the Legal Systems Resolving Land Disputes in Somaliland and Puntland, written in conjunction with UN Habitat.
Read LAW’s joint report on housing, land and property issues in Somalia with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
2016 -2017 Consultations and Stakeholder Meetings
In Puntland today, community elders resolve between 90 and 95% of land disputes. As such, it is important to ensure they can provide input and maintain a role in the development of any new land dispute mechanisms.
Having published Harmonisation of the Legal Systems Resolving Land Disputes in Somaliland and Puntland earlier in the year, LAW and UN-Habitat formally launched the report in Garowe, Puntland and Hargeisa, Somaliland in November 2016. Since then, there have been a series of consultations with elders and stakeholder meetings to gather feedback and discuss how best to implement the recommendations of the report, particularly in respect of urban land.
A key recommendation of the report was for the establishment of Land Dispute Tribunals, a hybrid dispute resolution mechanism designed to deal with urban and peri-urban land disputes. LAW prepared training manuals for those working at the tribunals. These can be accessed below.
LAW held two expert roundtables on housing, land and property (HLP) issues in Somalia with the Norwegian Refugee Council. The first roundtable took place in Nairobi on 8 December 2014 and the second one was held in Nairobi on 2 June 2015. The roundtable provided an overview of the current HLP legal and policy framework and ways forward. Participants also discussed forced evictions, security of tenure, dispute resolution and how to identify legal solutions.