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Land dispute: Villagers ordered off farmland

Villagers stopped developers from bulldozing their farmland in Kratie province’s Snuol district yesterday, but are now banned from the land while authorities work to resolve the dispute, a village representative said.

Soun Vicheka, a representative of 136 families in Krasaing village, said authorities had ordered Horizon Agricultural Development Co to suspend its clearing of the disputed land, which covers 547 hectares, after villagers clashed with security guards protecting the company’s workers.

“The villagers gathered again to block the company from bulldozing their farms this morning and we had a short clash with the [security guards] who protect the company, but there was not anyone injured,” he said.

He said authorities had told villagers to leave the land.

Yesterday’s clash came after villagers formed a human chain to prevent Horizon from clearing their cassava plantations on Tuesday. Soun Vicheka said security guards had threatened to shoot the villagers on Tuesday.

Sum Choun, Snuol district council and director of the land dispute resolution committee, said he was working to resolve the dispute.

“We stopped [Horizon] clearing the land . . . I will send the report to the provincial governor to take measure with this case,” he said.

Man Sreang, the owner of the Horizon Agriculture Development Co, and the manager of the company, who is known as Bo, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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