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Land Dispute in Kampot Province

A Cambodian human rights organization official urges local authorities in Kampot province to intervene in a land dispute involving hundreds of families, warning that failure to do so might result in anarchy and violence.

More than 1,000 people Tuesday armed with knives and axes gather at a place in Kampot and set up poles marking their lands which they charge Mr. Sem Sovandeth has taken from them illegally in Kampot town.

No authorities are there to intervene in this matter, says Cambodia Center for Human Rights' (CCHR) official Chhim Savuth.

A woman from Stung Keo district says that about 466 families claim they have deeds to their lands which they owned since 1995-96, when Mr. Sem's company uses tractors to clear their lands.

Mr. Sem Sovandeth, Kampot agricultural development company's president alleges that about 2,000 hectares of land which his company controls, he bought from the people about two years ago.