We Who Come from Africa, the Maghreb and other Countries*
By La Via Campesina Africa Region II
We, who have been evicted from our land and territories, and dispossessed of our natural resources,
We, young women, men and communities,
We, who live permanently impoverished, in conflict-ridden areas and under threat by armed groups,
We, who are unemployed and desperate,
We, who leave our land and our families, we who face all possible risks including death because we are left with no other choice than to believe that El Dorado can be found on the other side of the Mediterranean.
We have no need for your increasingly repressive, inhumane and humiliating measures when reaching your borders.
We do not need you to increase your budget to better turn us back, to detain us in your detention centers, to criminalize us.
We do not need your money which:
- under the guise of loans makes us evermore indebted.
- leads to the grabbing of land, water and other natural resources.
- corrupts decision-makers for the sake of development projects to “improve the business climate” which are promoted by the World Bank and the IMF, supporting the agribusiness endeavours of investors and speculators.
- destabilizes our markets by putting agricultural monopolies in place. For instance, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which has been encouraged by the G8 and the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
We do not need your money which is spreading like gangrene in the form of corruption and racketeering amongst our rulers, elites and decision-makers.
What we need is for you to let us improve our lives in the context of food sovereignty.
We peasants, men and women, represent approximately 80% of our countries’ populations; we feed more than 70% with our daba hoes, our seeds and our land. We provide 75% of employment.
We need you to let us earn our livelihoods at home.
We no longer want your neoliberal capitalist system, your structural adjustment programs and your so-called support. It is leading to the impoverishment of more and more people; while day by day a handful of elites grow richer. 80 wealthy people on this planet have as much money as 3.5 billion people!
We call upon our States:
- To work for their people and to respect their rights.
- To secure the land of farmers and livestock raisers, fishing and marine areas, the forests of hunter gatherers and forestry workers, villages and rural living spaces and to implement collective land rights.
- To protect our small-scale, family based agriculture, our food systems and our ecosystems by supporting agroecology.
- Not to ratify the EPAs, to protect local production, to facilitate its cross-border trade and to foster regional integration.
- Not to be weakened nor blinded by financial pressure, investors, international institutions, the European Union and native elites.
We place our trust in our youth, boys and girls to believe that El Dorado is not to be found on the other side of the Mediterranean, but that El Dorado it is right here below their feet.
Our struggle is committed to seeing agricultural, land, seed, fishery and trade policies to be conceived for and by our young people!