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More than 3,500 disputes have been ‘resolved’: gov’t

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Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin, Chairman of the National Authority for Land Dispute and Resolution Talks during the annual land managemnet meeting in Phnom penh yesterday. Heng Chivoan

More than 3,500 disputes have been ‘resolved’: gov’t

Cambodia has either resolved or rejected 6,060 of the Kingdom’s 7,549 ongoing land disputes, according to figures presented by Deputy Prime Minister of Land Management Bin Chhin during a speech yesterday.

More than 3,500 cases have reportedly been “resolved”, while a further 2,500 cases were “rejected” for not meeting ministry criteria, though Chhin could not be reached yesterday to explain those criteria.

“Please continue to work hard to solve land disputes through creating an effective land management mechanism. Ministry working groups and local administrators on every level should visit land disputes directly,” Chhin said during his speech.

The deputy prime minister also claimed the Cambodian government had issued 600,000 land titles in the past two years.

Rights groups, however, have disputed whether government efforts live up their claims.

Last week, rights group Licadho released data showing that it had investigated 70 new land disputes in 2016, affecting 9,300 families in total.

Chhin’s number of total land disputes cases was also challenged yesterday by Naly Pilorge, deputy director of Licadho. “You can determine from the number of protests and petitions throughout Cambodia that the number of unresolved complaints . . . must be higher,” she said.

Land tenure has proven one of the most contentious issues in Cambodia in recent years, with rights group Adhoc claiming that more than 770,000 people have at some point been affected by land disputes, with many rejecting government resolutions as inadequate.

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