Argues that the institutionalization of ethnic federalism and the persistence of neo-customary tenure result in considerable ambiguity, particularly regarding the land rights of non-indigenous minorities. Highlights tensions between these three sets of land tenure institutions – state ownership, ethnic federalism and neo-customary tenure – and their implications for minority land rights. A case study of land-based conflict in Oromiya region, based on fieldwork conducted in 2009-10, demonstrates the continuing relevance of these land tenure institutions and associated ideas in land debates in Ethiopia, both in terms of the use of these ideas by protagonists as means of justifying land claims, and the ambiguous state response to the conflict, which goes well beyond the provisions of the land policy. Many of the key issues regarding ethnicity and land mirror debates taking place across the continent.
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Mokoro is pleased to host the ’Land Rights in Africa’ site as a contribution to the land rights dialogue and related debates. This website was created in January 2000 by Robin Palmer, and was originally housed by Oxfam GB, where Robin worked as a Land Rights Adviser. A library of resources on land rights in Africa – with a particular focus on women’s land rights and on the impact of land grabbing in Africa – the portal has been well received by practitioners, researchers and policy makers, and has grown considerably over the years.