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Thursday, 12 December 2019

Jordan tribesmen block airport road in land protest

For the second day, Jordanian tribesmen blocked the road to Amman's airport during protests calling on the government to restore lands which it acquired for development projects

AFP , Wednesday 16 Feb 2011
Jordanian Bedouin Tribsemen protesters blocks a main highway during a protest demanding the government return to lands to them
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Demonstrations on Tuesday night saw more than 500 people of the Bani Sakhr tribe, one of the largest in Jordan, staging a sit-in on the main road leading to the international airport, south of the capital, he said.

"We demand the government return thousands of hectares (acres) we have been authorised to use for decades for agriculture," the tribal member told AFP.

"For example, the government took from us 2,200 hectares (5,436 acres) to build the airport," in the early 1980s, he said, adding that police later dispersed the sit-in without incident.

In 1952, the government authorised the tribes, the backbone of the kingdom, to use lands for agriculture and housing, but they were not registered in their names.

Successive governments had to acquire these lands for investment and development, but the tribes say they have been excluded from the projects.

On Sunday, at least two people were reported wounded after around 3,000 protesters from the Zawahrah and Khalailah tribes blocked a main road in the capital to demand the government return lands to them.

They say they have been authorised to use 2,500 hectares (6,177 acres) in southeast Jordan.

A government committee headed by the interior minister is currently examining their requests.

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