Cambodians Accept U.N. Peace Plan (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: After years of conflict, opposing parties in the Cambodian civil war agreed to guidelines for peace suggested by the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
A Bloody History
Twentieth century Cambodia has been a bloody land. Cambodia gained full independence from France in 1953. Norodom Sihanouk, a leader in the independence movement, became the country’s king. He later took the title “Prince” and started his own political party.
Sihanouk was overthrown in 1970 by General Lon Nol, and he fled into exile. Almost immediately a communist group, known as the Khmer Rouge, began to fight against Lon Nol, and four years later it defeated him. When the Khmer Rouge took over, they forced people to leave the capital city, Phnom Penh, and work the land in the countryside. Hundreds of thousands of Cambodians died under the harsh rule of the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot.
In 1979, Vietnam invaded Cambodia after a dispute over territory, and the Khmer Rouge leaders were forced to flee into Thailand. Thousands of Cambodian refugees fled into Thailand too. Finally, the world began to hear about the torture and brutality of the Khmer Rouge government. Most countries, though horrified at the stories, refused to recognize Vietnam’s invasion as legal; they also refused to recognize the Cambodian government of Heng Samrin, who was placed in power by the Vietnamese.
(The entire section is 1099 words.)
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