U.N. human rights envoy Surya Subedi on Thursday called on KDC International, which is owned by Chea Kheng, the wife of Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem, to put a hold on its development of a disputed plot of land until a resolution can be reached with the villagers who claim the land.
His remarks come after days of rising tensions at the site in Kompong Chhnang province, including skirmishes between workers, villagers and police.
Despite this, KDC has moved ahead with plans to erect a wall on the site.
“For more than 10 years now, the local community has been embroiled in a dispute over contested land and the complaints that they have sought to lodge with the court system against the authorities and KDC International for the alleged intimidation, violence and land loss, have remained unaddressed,” Mr. Subedi said in the statement.
“I call on the company, KDC International, to immediately halt development of contested land until all claims by individual families have been properly assessed by an appropriate independent body in a fair and transparent way.”