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THE RESTITUTION OF ACTEUR COMMUNAU'TERRE
A constantly evolving custom
Tradition must not be subject to willingness to level and standardize cultures and practices. Some jurists consider them to be worthless. Whereas,
they are based on an unavoidable human and sociological reality. For others, tradition would oppose modernism, the latter which is
assimilated to the denial of authority, the rejection of collective knowledge, and the sacralization of innovation, is considered as the only
condition for progress. If ignored, cultural values, habits and customs of a population cannot be the impetus for sound development. This
development cannot be realized outside of this base built by countless generations. More than in any other field, the role of tradition cannot be
underestimated in rural land management. This is indeed, the place where traditional authority is manager, guardian and judge. This one is the
driving force that allows land to exist. The role of traditional chiefs in the management of the nourishing land, which is more and more source of
conflict, is central. Tradition is not fixed, especially concerning the rural land, but it evolves and adapts to the realities of the population, and this
has been the case for centuries, even if some people believe that it is not changing fast enough. Thus, several women are village’s chiefs and
the National Chamber of Kings and Traditional Chiefs of Côte d’Ivoire is actively working for women's rights, showing that for these customary
leaders, the promotion of gender is not a taboo subject. Tradition is wrongly worrying a lot of people. Its diversity makes it close to the men and
women of the country. This diversity is not a brake but a living force. Some people criticize it and want imported models, forgetting that tradition
works at improving the living conditions of men, by providing help and assistance. Also, it doesn’t assigned itself a limit in the constant search for
truth and justice. In this context, should we continue to oppose tradition and modernity?
Settlement of disputes
The knowledge of litigation related to parcels boundaries problems, inheritance, absences of rights holders, provisional transfers that become
final divestiture, should be strengthen by specific methods from the chiefs for bringing peace and social cohesion. The statement of conflicts
with the heads of family, village, township and even the King, is done according to a specific process. Firstly, a meeting is attended with Parties
in dispute, as well as neutral people and credible witnesses who know the land history. Then, the protagonists are listened, followed by a
fieldtrip. When back to the village, information are pooled and the protagonists are listened once again. Once the findings made, the culprits
are punished. The team of witness then proceed to the realization of limits. This approach strengthens social cohesion and help to reduce
congestion in the courts since 90 per cent of the conflicts are resolved by traditional mediation. The traditional authorities are living cadastres
and are necessary in the process of legalization of the customary rights on the rural land. The virtuous circle including State and traditional
authorities already exists but must be consolidated for social peace and security. If the local governance is strong, the State will be stronger in
its mission. The involvement of the State and the customary authorities, with Technicians (experts, surveyors,)is necessary to help the village
boundaries and reduce its cost. Finally, if the creation of the village committees is important, a land commission for the settlement of disputes is
also necessary.