Local communities face to land expropriation and evictions in the era of major structural projects and territorial regulation in Southern Cameroon: An analysis of the outlines of a controversial phenomenon

Fabrice Mopi Touoyem, Marlise Sandrine Kouna Binele


Both land expropriation and eviction constitute a threat to the properties and life of local communities. In Southern Cameroon, the phenomenon has increased with the implementation of structural projects to ensure the emergence of Cameroon by 2035 and the resumption of the control of urban space by the State. The aim of this article is to show how structural projects and the regulation of urbanization in big towns affect local communities. To achieve this, the study carried out a collection of data supported by a literature research, direct observations, and interviews with victims of expropriations and evictions, the administration in charge of the state property and land affairs, administrative authorities and some employees of the Douala and Yaoundé Urban Cities Councils. It turns out that land expropriation in the framework of the structural projects is an opportunity for some people to do business. Compensations derived from these operations benefits much more to those individuals and the administration in charge of these operations rather than the victims of the expropriations. The members of the commission of assessment and evaluation of properties with the complicity of some individuals used to introducing the names of fake individuals, over-evaluating properties, and establishing fake land titles or establishing them after the signature of the declaration of public utility decree, so as to increase the amount of indemnities and to enrich themselves illicitly. This is the cause of the regular angriness of local communities who are not only losing their ancestral lands, but are also facing injustice. On the other hand, the evictions in big towns are the result of the loss of the control of urban space by public authorities, which has favored an anarchic occupation of the space by the population and the installation of these on state property. These victims do not receive any compensation of eviction, as the victims of land expropriation for public utility reasons. It is therefore for the authority of the State to ensure a good achievement of land expropriation and compensation operations, so that the victims can benefit at fair value from the compensation of prejudice recorded and to preconize preventive urbanization instead of corrective urbanization that makes more victims of evictions.


Local communities; Land expropriation; Eviction; Structural projects ;Territorial regulation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.48346/IMIST.PRSM/ajlp-gs.v3i3.18068