28 R’kiri Villagers To Sue Official Over Land

Tampuon minority villagers in Ratanakkiri province plan to file a lawsuit against provincial Finance Director Mom Saroeun for al­legedly grabbing their land, officials said.

Rocham Phoen, SRP second deputy commune chief for Bakeo district’s Keh Chung commune, said residents of Aw village alleg­ed that 28 residents of nearby Rohan village acted as brokers to illegally sell 88 hectares of Aw village land to Mom Saroeun on Sept 7.

“The villagers demand the land back,” Rocham Phoen said. He added Monday that he was collecting thumbprints from Aw village’s 528 residents to file a complaint with the provincial court.

Rocham Phoen also claimed that Rocham Le, the CPP commune chief, signed off on the deal in exchange for $2,000.

Rocham Le denied that Mom Saroeun was involved in the land deal.

“Saying that Mom Saroeun bought the land is wrong,” he said, adding that he had seen documents showing that around 10 Aw villagers had sold the land.

Rocham Le said he had not received any money for the land deal, but that he was promised $2,000 by the party who he said had legitimately bought the land.

Mom Saroeun—who has previously faced allegations that he illegally acquired a Tampuon burial ground in Banlung district—did not answer repeated phone calls seeking comment.

 

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