Tensions Over Land Increase as Starkmanir and Nefantar Press Claims
Pator – The controversy over government use of tribal lands to build 'transit camps' and settle immigrant Minmatar became even more highly-charged yesterday, as it emerged that the returning Starkmanir and Nefantar tribes are pressing claims for the restitution of ancestral lands which went into 'common ownership' – in practice, Republic government administration – following the foundation of the Minmatar Republic.
While there is much sympathy for the Starkmanir, and their claim to large portions of the Eyniletti plains on Matar is supported by historical records, the issue of the Nefantar claiming land is highly contentious. Despite the revelation by the Minmatar Elders of the role played by the Nefantar in preserving the Starkmanir during the Amarr conquest and occupation of the former Minmatar Empire, lingering suspicion and prejudice against the Nefantar persist in some quarters. The ability of the Starkmanir and Nefantar to enter formal claims as full Minmatar tribes has also been questioned as each tribe has yet to name a new chief following their escape from the Ammatar Mandate.
Urban Management, the independent Minmatar land administration and arbitration agency, has refused to comment on any claims that may have been entered by any tribe. Professor Solkhi Esfual, Senior Lecturer in Property Law at the Republic University, commented that, "The claim of the Starkmanir regarding their ancient tribal lands is relatively sound but the development of law in this area since the foundation of the Republic could make a judgment quite difficult to frame. The Nefantar claim, leaving aside the controversy of their conduct during the occupation, is even more difficult to assess as many other tribes appropriated their lands outright rather than put them into 'common ownership' as with the Starkmanir."