Grabbing the plantations of the forest of Goin-Debe in western Ivory coast


The population of the region of Guiglo have recently decided to invade the forest of Goin-Debe, a forest that has been taken from them by the Ivorian authority. The forest has been infiltred by illegal occupants who have created plantations and wealth. Plantation of cocoa, coffee and rubber trees. The Ivorian authority have seized the plantations and taken a decision to evacuate the forest without saying what they are going to do with the plantation created.

They just told people to go, forcing them to leave, employing military force.  Consequently, the autochthone population has decided to grab all the plantation and the space taken by the government. They were accompanied by few members of local NGO such as NGOs NOFNA and OPRFT.   They wanted to show the authorities that with political will, they could have sorted the situation since Goin-Debe forest belong to the local population.

They started the invasion by different sit-in and camping in the forest bringing with them friends and family. After three days of camping between the two contiguous forests, they have shown that the occupation and the grabbing of their space is possible. Increasingly people started joining and by the end of a month, most of the plantation have been occupied.

As a response to the occupation, the government reacted violently and told them to  leave the place. People refused to leave, and they started to resist instead. They claimed the place as their belonging and as a place of their ancestors. They also argued that they could not abandon the plantations, especially when the found plantations are producing. However, the resistance could not last since division and fight started within the communities which is now to the advantage of the government.  The communities need to avoid mistrust and clashes, instead they should stay together and act as a strong force to face the government if they want to get their land back and take advantage of the plantations. They should create unity, and a sense of fighting for the same cause.


Workers fill sacks with cocoa beans on October 6, 2016 at an agricultural cooperative in Guiglo. 


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