PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – A leader of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge denied on Friday that he and his colleagues were responsible for the death of an estimated 1.7 million people during their 1975-79 rule, saying their sworn enemy Vietnam invented the idea of genocide as propaganda.
Why did the Khmer Rouge fail?
The regime was removed from power in 1979 when Vietnam invaded Cambodia and quickly destroyed most of the Khmer Rouge’s forces. The Khmer Rouge then fled to Thailand, whose government saw them as a buffer force against the communist Vietnamese.
Why did Vietnam invade Cambodia?
Vietnam launched an invasion of Cambodia in late December 1978 to remove Pol Pot. Two million Cambodians had died at the hands of his Khmer Rouge regime and Pol Pot’s troops had conducted bloody cross-border raids into Vietnam, Cambodia’s historic enemy, massacring civilians and torching villages.
Who did the Khmer Rouge target?
Because the Khmer Rouge placed a heavy emphasis on the rural peasant population, anyone considered an intellectual was targeted for special treatment. This meant teachers, lawyers, doctors, and clergy were the targets of the regime. Even people wearing glasses were the target of Pol Pot’s reign of terror.
How did the Khmer Rouge violate human rights?
Many Khmer Rouge responsible for large-scale atrocities during the group’s rule from 1975-79 continue to live freely, some in the same communities in which they carried out mass killings, forced labor, and other abuses.
What was the goal of the Khmer Rouge?
In 1976, the Khmer Rouge established the state of Democratic Kampuchea. The party’s aim was to establish a classless communist state based on a rural agrarian economy and a complete rejection of the free market and capitalism.
How did Khmer Rouge gain strength?
In 1970, the Cambodian Communists had few troops in the field and relied on the North Vietnamese to handle the brunt of the fighting. But as the war progressed, Khmer Rouge forces grew in number and battlefield prowess. They captured more and more territory on their own from Lon Nol’s army.
Why did the Khmer Rouge start?
This movement would become known as the Khmer Rouge, or “Red Khmers.” Inspired by the teachings of Mao Zedong, the Khmer Rouge came to espouse a radical agrarian ideology based on strict one-party rule, rejection of urban and Western ideas, and abolition of private property.