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ELEMENTS OF CONTEXT
Benin, formerly known as “Dahomey”, saw past, in its history, many European countries. But both countries have actually implemented: Portugal and France, which will, until 1960, one of its colonies (for over 60 years from 1894 to 1960).
The country with a population of about 9.1 million (Rural: 5232000; Urban: 3868000 | Powered 2011), with an area of 115,000 km ². It is a very small part of Africa, both in territory (0.37%) and population (0.64%).
HISTORY OF CITIES – HERITAGE
RIGHT TO HOUSING
A new Land Code was adopted and lands in Benin in January 2013. He specifies the notion of the right of residence, closer to a property right as the right to housing:
article 51: “The right to housing is the right to the use of a house to a specific person recognized to the extent of his needs and those of his family. It is established by convention.”
article 52: “the right to housing can not be transferred to third parties unless an express provision.”
Benin, according to the online journal Afriquinfos, litigation domanial represent more than 80% of the complaints people brought before the courts. According to the initiator of the new law aims to combat the mafia practices in rural and urban areas, including land scam, the boundary disputes, disputes relating to the contestation of property rights or shares of inheritance, land disputes between farmers and herders.
It is in this context that, since January 2013, a new land code and lands in Benin.
It includes – among others – the establishment of new bodies that will manage land issues:
A cadastre for the management of all technical and administrative actions describing the land (art.452).
National Agency Domain and Land (ANDF), a new body of land management (art.416 and SVTS).
Commission of Land Management (COGEF) in each municipality, an advisory body created.
It also mentions the sanctions and penalties in case of non compliance with these provisions, which sometimes seems to have been the subject of heated debate in the Assembly vote in charge of this new land code and lands.
art.14: “Every natural or legal person of Beninese nationality can acquire a building or land in the Republic of Benin. Non-nationals can acquire a building in urban Benin Republic, subject to reciprocity agreements or treaties or international agreements. (…)” One of the objectives was also to prohibit / restrict the sale of land to non-nationals of Benin.
art. 42 and 43: “The ownership confers on its holder the use, enjoyment and free disposition of property which is the subject of the most absolute manner as long as it does not make a use prohibited by laws and regulations ”-” no one may be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and against fair and prior compensation.” Art. 112-114 insist on a certificate of land ownership alone confers full ownership in the Republic of Benin. “All lands not covered by a certificate of land ownership under the influence of alleged rights.” The procedure for confirmation of land rights to obtain this certificate is also codified and appeal procedure. Art. 375 explicit types of evidence to issue a certificate of ownership. It will include: confession, the oath, presumptions, witness …
Art.79 to 104: These items (not listed here) explain clearly what is the right of ownership in Benin, including the organization of decision-making owners.
Article 149 and following : show the existence of a land register, register in which shall be recorded – among others – the land certificates.
Art.196 and following : in rural areas, “rural land plan is prepared at the request of the village chief after deliberation by the village council, …” Then, each individual must register this plan in rural land. This plan can serve rural land reference to judicial decisions.
Chapter VI explicit modes of natural resource management in Benin “All Beninese vocation equal access to natural resources in general and agricultural land in particular, without discrimination based on sex or social origin as provided by the Constitution, laws and regulations.” Note will allow gender equality in access to natural resources!
Art.351 and SVTS: explicitly recognizes customary land rights in Benin: “alleged customary rights exercised collectively or individually on land not covered by the terms of land areas and those not registered are confirmed. (…) Every person who holds at least any customary rights mentioned above and wish to be issued with a binding that determine the existence and extent of their rights, submit a request to the bureau communal (…) ”. An investigation is then conducted before the Section Villageoise Land Management – SVGF. Note also that one who operates a land so peaceful and continues for at least 10 years can not be withdrawn without the cause. Finally, rural lands that have never been first de facto ownership belong to the state, which can then assign them to local authorities. This is the dimension of the space property determines the procedure (below or above 20 hectares).
Evictions are also coded according to this new land code and lands:
art.216 and following : “The expropriation process is triggered by the declaration of public utility by the competent authority.” Depending on the level of territorial expropriation, the competent authority shall be the President of the Republic (national – regional), or the Commune (local). A survey comodo-incomodo is mandatory, people may claim compensation must then be known.
art.245 and following explicit procedure implemented in case of emergency expropriation. We highlight the art. 250, which specifies that “when the expropriation urgent need immediate removal of populations, the expropriating authority is obliged to provide accommodation and / or a provision on compensation for eviction.”
art.523 & following : “unlawful or arbitrary expulsion is prohibited in the Republic of Benin. The State shall, in accordance with international conventions, take measures to prevent forced evictions and demolitions planned following orders made by the courts. (…) Development projects financed by international agencies or corporations can not involve or result in forced evictions. (…) In the case of illegal eviction and / or arbitrary, the amount of compensation payments, the time and manner of payment must be just and fair (…).”