Land rights and justice in neoliberal Mozambique: The case of Afungi community relocations

Symons, Kate (2018). Land rights and justice in neoliberal Mozambique: The case of Afungi community relocations. In: Apostolopoulou, Elia and Cortes-Vazquez, Jose A. eds. The Right to Nature: Social Movements, Environmental Justice and Neoliberal Natures. Routledge Studies in Environmental Policy. Earthscan-Routledge, pp. 70–83.



This chapter focuses on how communities and civil society contested land acquisition by the US oil and gas company Anadarko in Cabo Delgado province in the North of Mozambique. Anadarko has been granted permission to build a gas processing plant on the Afungi Peninsula. In June 2015, a coalition of civil society activists, communities and their legal representatives took the Mozambican Government and Anadarko to court to contest the planned relocation of 1,500 existing residents of the site to make way for the plant, achieving several important concessions on behalf of the communities scheduled for relocation. This case has been celebrated by civil society activists as a clear victory leading to a new era of political accountability whereby community needs and rights would hold a central place in Mozambique’s resource politics, and where this could be secured through particular right-based strategies of engagement and protest, that is, drawing on legal rights and institutions to gain legal recourse and compensation for land acquisition, along with claiming rights to land and livelihood, and rights to be heard.

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