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and Soil: Land, Politics and Conflict prevention in Zimbabwe and
Report N°85, International Crisis Group (ICG)
September 17, 2004
For all their
differences, one thing Zimbabwe and South Africa have in common
is that land issues, dating back to colonial times and white settler
government, are highly emotive, evoking difficult questions of history,
race, politics, economic opportunity and international diplomacy.
Successfully defusing tensions over land remains central to reducing
the risk of conflict in both countries, and boosting their long-term
and Soil offers a detailed analysis of the different challenges
of land reform in both Zimbabwe and South Africa. It provides a
balanced assessment of the claims and counterclaims made about who
bears responsibility for the current catastrophic situation in Zimbabwe.
And it also provides practical policy suggestions for ways forward:
identifying the contours of a post-transition land approach in Zimbabwe
and a comprehensive agenda for reinvigorating the land reform process
in South Africa.
report is the product of intensive field research in both countries.
The policy recommendations are the result of widespread consultations
with senior policymakers in Africa and around the globe. The report
above all attempts to place disputes over land ownership and use
within their overarching social, political, economic and historical
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