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Malibya irrigated agricultural scheme in Segou, Mali


In May 2008, the Government of Mali and the Kadhafi Government of Libya signed an investment agreement giving Malibya, a subsidiary of the Libyan sovereign wealth funds Libyan African Investment Portfolio, a 50-year renewable lease covering 100,000 ha in the Office du Niger. The land was given for free on condition that Malibya develop the lands for irrigated agricultural production. Malibya was also given unlimited access to water for a small user fee. No evidence of an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment study is evident, and it is conspicuously absent in the contract, although such a study is mandated by Malian law. Land was cleared and the canal dug without notifying inhabitants. By 2009, Malibya completed the 40-km Macina irrigation canal which resulted in significant disruption to local communities, including dividing villages in two and isolating others. One man has drowned in the canal trying to reach his home. Plans to produce hybrid rice were also reported but the project was suspended when the Kadhafi regime collapsed in 2011. In January 2012, representatives of Libyas new government, the National Transitional Council, stated that they would maintain good investments in Mali and pursue agricultural projects in Africa, referring only to Sudan and countries close to Libya. Local organizations continue to mobilize in the region in hope of regaining their land.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Malibya irrigated agricultural scheme in Segou, Mali
State or province:Ségou province
Location of conflict:Cercle de Macina
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Water access rights and entitlements
Land acquisition conflicts
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific commodities:
Live Animals
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

year renewable lease for 100,000 ha for hybrid rice, livestock and tomato processing. Unlimited water for a nominal fee and construction of the largest canal in Mali (and one of the largest in Africa) over 40 km long and 30 meters wide. The project advertised to employ 'all of the population' in the Segou region.

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Project area:100,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:150 families
Start of the conflict:2008
Company names or state enterprises:General Company of Combustibles (CGC ) from Argentina - construction of the canal
Malibya from Libya
Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAP) from Libya
Relevant government actors:Muammar Gaddafi , President Amadou Toumani Toure , Malian Minister of Agriculture Tiemoko Sangare, Dr. Aboubaker al Mansoury , Office du Niger
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Via Campesina,, Convergence Against Land Grabbing, CMAT, A coalition of 5 local peasant, professional, and social movements., SEXAGON (local farmers’ union)
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow)
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Project temporarily suspended
Project stopped
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Although the project has stalled the canal is built, displacing families and segregating grazing lands from villages.
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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Oakland Institute, 2011, 'Understanding Land Investment Deals in Africa: Malibya in Mali'
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Oakland Institute, 2011, 'Comprendre les Investissements Fonciers en Afrique: Raport: Mali'
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La Via Campesina, 'Land is Life!' 2013
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Djire, Moussa, Amadou Keita, Alfousseyni Diawara, 2012, 'Agricultural investments and land acquisitions in Mali'
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La Via Campesina, 2012, 'International Conference of Peasants of Farmers: Stop Land Grabbing!'

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

, 'Convention dinvestissement dans Ie domaine agricole entre le Mali et la Libye'
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

'Why Poverty' Directed by Hugo Berkeley & Osvalde Lewat
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Meta information
Contributor:Aliza Tuttle
Last update24/06/2014
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