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In Land Grabs, Rule of Men Weaker Than Rule of Law, Group Says


Prime Minister Hun Sen's war on land grabbers notwithstanding, the rule of law is necessary to defeat the problem, the Asian Human Rights Commission said Monday.

Cambodia's "strong man" has only been able to cow three top generals into returning land through the "rule of men," the group said in a lengthy statement, but it is unlikely his war will work.

The rural poor of Cambodia are increasingly facing land confiscations by unscrupulous military or other government officials.

The prime minister last month warned of bloodshed for land grabbers who resist him, after being mandated to solve the problem by his Cambodian People's Party.

"Critics have said that this high-profile war staged just several weeks before the commune election on April 1 was simply a campaign message, while human rights groups have doubted the ability of the court to enforce the law," the Rights Commission said.

The group urged UN agencies, donor countries and rights and aid agencies to work with the Cambodian judiciary to "embrace the rule of law."

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