Cambodia: Villagers blockade road to protest land grab

Ethnic Kuoy villagers in Preah Vihear province block Rui Feng trucks and machinery from travelling along a road earlier this week. Photo supplied

Ethnic Kuoy villagers in Preah Vihear province block Rui Feng trucks and machinery from travelling along a road earlier this week.

4 March – Following a two-day roadblock protest by residents of six villages in Preah Vihear province, district authorities have inspected land allegedly stolen by Chinese sugar cane producer Rui Feng.

Rui Feng was granted 8,841 hectares in a 2011 economic land concession (ELC), but ethnic Kuoy villagers allege that the company has been pushing the boundaries of its ELC and encroaching on their farmland.

Some 200 residents of six Kuoy-majority villages in Chey Sen and Chheb districts on Tuesday began to obstruct a road used by the sugar company, said Luot Sang, a land issues coordinator with NGO Ponlork Khmer, who was present.

Villager Huoth Maly, 35, said 500 hectares of farmland have been bulldozed by Rui Feng since 2013, despite some villagers possessing land titles.

“Some of our villagers’ farmland has a land title, but the company still bulldozes it to plant sugar,” Maly said. “If there is no solution, we pledge to conduct a bigger protest.” An official had threatened to send him to prison, he added..

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