Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Soldiers accused of Oddar Meanchey land grab

Soldiers accused of Oddar Meanchey land grab

A man poses by tractors in an area of protected forest in Oddar Meanchey province that locals say has been seized by military officials. Photo supplied
A man poses by tractors in an area of protected forest in Oddar Meanchey province that locals say has been seized by military officials. Photo supplied

Soldiers accused of Oddar Meanchey land grab

Villagers in Oddar Meanchey province have made a last-ditch appeal to salvage a chunk of their community forest they claim was grabbed by military officials for private use.

Keut Mab, deputy chief of Andong Bor community forest, said 488 families in Beanteay Ampil district’s Beng commune yesterday reached out to rights group Adhoc in the hopes of resolving the land dispute with a group of soldiers.

The protected community forest covers more than 6,000 hectares, but since 2011, army forces led by Major General Sorn Sea have cleared the forest, built private homes and rented property, Mab alleged.

“Our community forest has been cleared and only about 100 hectares are intact . . . thousands of hectares have been sold, rented and grabbed as private property,” he said. “Soldiers are plowing every day. When villagers intercepted, they cocked theirs guns to intimidate them.”

However, Sorn Sea denied the allegations and claimed that each soldier was entrusted a house and a single hectare with government approval some five years ago, during armed conflict with Thailand.

“I do not know about the selling or renting of land.”


  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,