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1 Feb 2024

Runn Sreydeth, CamboJA

Cambodia: About 80 villagers protest to demand compensation for their occupied land involved with new international airport construction project

"Residents Near New Phnom Penh Airport Site Protest Land Settlement", 1 February 2024

Around 80 people gathered … near a portion of land that has been allotted for Phnom Penh’s new Techo Takhmao International Airport, currently under construction, calling for authorities to expedite a settlement process, according to a community representative…

“The community hasn’t seen the authorities invite the people’s representatives to meetings as promised,” he said. “Because they have been waiting for a long time but there has been no solution, the people decided to gather in the rice fields again on Sunday peacefully.”…

Phanny emphasised that the protest … did not intend to “incite,” and instead was a peaceful gathering of people upset with the situation. He recognizes that development, such as the construction of an airport, is important for the next generation, but asks for a transparent solution from authorities…

… Kandal Steung district governor Ouch Sao Voeun said the land the villagers are demanding compensation for is already owned by a resident of Phnom Penh, who received compensation and complied with government policies.

… Run Sophea, a farmer who attended the protest, disagrees that a Phnom Penh resident owns the land: “We​ are the owners from this district who have been farming on this land since 1984. Landowners do not get compensation on their own land.”

… Chiv Kok Say with the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation, who is in charge of land acquisitions for the airport, told … that the small portion of unresolved land is residential and farmland.

“We have settled with them [residents] in many places. About 5% [of the land] has not been settled yet,” he said.