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Families in Ratanakkiri decry forest loss

A hundred ethnic Kreng families filed a complaint to the Ratanakkiri provincial authorities yesterday asking them to stop the alleged ongoing clearing of a 500-hectare state forest, which they say a former commune chief illegally sold to land brokers about two years ago.

Kreng ethnic community representatives in Kon Mon district issued a letter to the provincial governor and the local Forestry Administration through rights group Adhoc yesterday, asking them to take legal action in the case.

“We rely on it for our livelihood,” one part of the letter reads.

“It is not acceptable that they clear our forest for their own property.”

A land broker and his workers had previously been arrested for clearing 40 hectares of the forest, Adhoc provincial coordinator Chhay Thy said.

Provincial Deputy Governor Nab Bunheng said he had received the letter and would assign officers to investigate the case.

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