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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mondulkiri villagers report no word concerning land compensation

Mondulkiri villagers report no word concerning land compensation

PHNONG minority families displaced by a rubber plantation in Mondulkiri's Bou Sraa commune remain in the dark about compensation packages despite promises from local authorities, according to community representatives.

Earlier this month, 138 families in Bou Sraa commune's Pouteut village agreed to let authorities measure land granted to Socfin KCD, a French-Cambodian rubber joint venture, in order to establish compensation claims.

"So far it is very quiet. We have heard nothing from the authorities about the result, [even though] they already measured our land as well as the land they planned to displace," said a village representative who asked not to be named.

She added that she had seen workers for the company digging holes for rubber trees during visits to affected areas in the last two days.

"Villagers say that if the company starts clearing land where [the dispute] is not yet resolved, they will seize the tractor," she said.

The conflict between Socfin KCD and seven Phnong villages previously came to a head in December, when angry villagers smashed and burned machinery belonging to the company.

Mondulkiri Deputy Governor Yim Lux said Tuesday that a government committee was working to resolve the dispute.

He said earlier this month that the company would offer affected villagers the same amount of land as they are likely to give up to the 10,000-hectare rubber concession. The planned replacement land is just a few kilometres from the affected area, he added.

Kul Midy, a community trainer with local rights group Adhoc, said the company and local officials should speed up the processing of claims from affected families in order to avoid further conflict.

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