A group of residents of Phnom Penh's Dey Krahorm neighborhood
are fighting to the last city orders to relocate to the outskirts of
the city, with a final eviction notice issued by the city on Dec. 25.
Chamkarmon District Governor Lo Yuy said in his order the
residents have until Tuesday, Dec. 30, to leave the neighborhood, but
the impoverished residents said they were ready to face
armed confrontation over their right to remain.
"They wait for an armed
eviction by the authorities," resident Chan Vichet told reporters
Monday. "They will use their rights to protect their property if there
is a forced eviction."
Bun Rachana, a member of the Housing Rights Task
Force, which advocates for resident rights, appealed to the government
and the 7NGdevelopment company not to use violence against the
remaining families, urging instead more time to find an acceptable
resolution to the brewing confrontation.
Neither Ly Yuy, Phnom Penh
Governor Kep Chuktema nor 7NG Director Srei Sothea could not be reached
for comment Monday, but Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Man Chhoeurn said he
believed Kep Chuktema would resolve the situation peacefully.
that our leaders are clever enough to resolve this issue,"he said,
adding that so far 1,374 out of 1,465 Dey Krahorm families had
The removal of the residents stems from an April 2004
agreement between the city government and 7NG to develop 3.6 hectares of
slum area, forcing the removal of hundreds of families to suburb in
Dangkor district, where the newly relocated found few services or
job opportunities and began demanding greater compensation.
The dozens of
families that remain could face charges varying from thedestruction of
property and assault on 7NG employees. One man wassentenced in August
to three years in prison on assault, defamationand forgery charges
stemming from conflicts with the developmentcompany and city