An official with Koh Kong’s provincial land department said yesterday that the department will cooperate with the Industry Ministry to resolve a land dispute case between a group of civil servants and their superior.
The statement by Koh Kong Provincial Hall spokesman Sok Sothy was made after five provincial industry department civil servants representing 18 families filed a complaint against Khloem Korki, the department’s director.
The complaint alleged that Mr Korki instructed the land department to stop issuing land titles to families of civil servants and used threats against the plaintiffs.
Mr Sothy said that Mr Korki had intentions to distribute plots of land to a total of 32 families. He noted that another 14 did not qualify for land distribution because they have not been living on the land long enough.
“Because of the number of families, a conflict arose from their disagreement,” Mr Sothy said, adding that provincial authorities will cooperate with an Industry Ministry inspection team to resolve the issue.
He noted that following a government sub-decree and a speech by Prime Minister Hun Sen, 18 families are qualified to receive land due to the duration of the time they have occupied the area.
“If there are instructions from the government or the Industry Ministry, we will consider it. Now we are cooperating with the ministry,” Mr Sothy said, noting that the people who have been occupying the land are officials and seniors of the department.
He added that the provincial land management department will grant land titles to families when the dispute has been resolved.
The complaint said that families of civil servants have occupied an area belonging to the provincial department since 1990.
It added that houses have been built and land cultivated. It also said that though plots of land were measured last year, land was never distributed.
The Industry Ministry has ordered an inspection team to take a closer look at the dispute.
Industry Ministry spokesman Oum Sotha said that the team will go to Koh Kong province to get more details.
Mr Korki could not be reached for comment yesterday.