Document - Equatorial Guinea: Further information on fear of forced evictions/ fear of use of excessive force

PUBLIC AI Index: AFR 24/001/2007

26 January 2007

Further Information on UA 304/06 (AFR 24/012/2006, 14 November 2006) and follow-up (AFR 24/017/2006, 11 December 2006) - fear of forced evictions/fear of use of excessive force

EQUATORIAL GUINEA Over 360 families

The threat to forcibly evict over 360 families from their homes in the capital, Malabo, on 2 January was not carried out. This was due to the pressure exerted by appeals from the Urgent Action network, according to a resident of one of the communities under threat, La Vigatana.

Following several meetings between La Vigatana residents and government ministers, the authorities are now apparently clearing the area in Basapú-Fiston (Fishtown) earmarked to re-house the families affected, and are marking out roads and installing electricity, water and sewage systems in the area.

In a meeting on 17 January, the Minister of Infrastructure and Urban Development reportedly reassured La Vigatana residents that they would not be evicted until the new area was ready and the residents had built their new houses in Basapú. He did not give a deadline for people to build their houses. The Minister also reassured the residents that they would receive the same amount of land as that occupied by their current houses. However, plots have not yet been allocated, and it is not clear whether residents will receive the same total amount of land they currently have.

So far there has been no discussion or negotiations regarding security of tenure or property titles. Residents have not been compensated for any losses nor have they been consulted about a just valuation of their properties including houses and land, which the authorities have carried out unilaterally.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals. Amnesty International will continue to monitor the situation and take further campaigning action as necessary to bring an end to forced evictions.

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