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Planned Forced Eviction Of 7000 Settlers In Digya National Park, Suspended

In March 2003, about 7000 settler fishermen in the Digya National Park in the Afram Plains District of Ghana were issued an eviction notice by the Afram plains Regional security Committee, Afram Plains District security Committee and the Traditional authorities. The eviction notice was without provision for relocation, resettlement or in accordance with internationally accepted laws on forced evictions.

The Residents Sought CEPIL’s intervention to halt the planned forced eviction which according to them when allowed to proceed in the manner planed by the authorities, the eviction will violate heir rights to property, human dignity, shelter and subsistence, among others.

CEPIL wrote a protest letter to the minister of lands and forestry, who is responsible for the Forest Reserves on which the community has been living for the past twenty years. CEPIL used both International Human Rights Law and arguments from Center on Housing Rights and Evictions (Cohre’s) Manual.

The Eviction was suspended until April 2006 when the settlers were forcefully evicted by the officials of Forestry Commission. In a hurry to leave the land, many of the evictees were forced into a boat thereby exceeding its sitting capacity. This resulted in a boat disaster which led to the death many people.

CEPIL filed a suit in the Fast Track Court against the Ministry of Lands and Forestry and Attorney General for an order of Prohibition on behalf of the settlers. Hearing commences on 16th October, 2006.

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