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Gov’t team tasked with resolving Koh Kong land dispute

Villagers from Sre Ambel district attend a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Land Management earlier this week. Photo supplied
Villagers from Sre Ambel district attend a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Land Management earlier this week. Photo supplied

Gov’t team tasked with resolving Koh Kong land dispute

A team from the Ministry of Land Management visiting Koh Kong yesterday said an additional 392 families have come forward claiming they had lost land to a controversial sugar plantation.

The team was formed to resolve a long-running land disputes centred on the Koh Kong Sugar Industry Company, which in 2006 was granted a 2,239-hectare economic land concession in Sre Ambel district. To date, hundreds of families have rejected the firm’s compensation offers.

Undersecretary of State Tep Thun, who is leading the team, said the number of disputants and the decade-old nature of the dispute meant it was unlikely to be solved quickly, adding that he hoped to find a solution amenable to all parties.

“We will talk to villagers and companies to seek an appropriate resolution that can satisfy both sides,” Thun said.

Villager Phav Nheoung said he was hopeful. “If the working group has good will, I believe it will seek to find a solution.”

Earlier this month, villager representatives delivered a petition to parliament, the land management and agriculture ministries, and the EU Embassy asking that they be adequately compensated or have their land returned.

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