The brutal regime, in power from 1975-1979, claimed the lives of up to two million people. Under the Marxist leader Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge tried to take Cambodia back to the Middle Ages, forcing millions of people from the cities to work on communal farms in the countryside.
How did Khmer Rouge come to power?
HOW DID THE KHMER ROUGE COME TO POWER? Cambodia’s communist movement emerged from the anti-colonial struggle against France in the 1940s. In March 1970, the country’s monarchy was overthrown by US-backed Field Marshal Lon Nol, setting up a long armed struggle against the forces of the Khmer Rouge.
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.
Do the Khmer Rouge still exist?
In 1996, a new political party called the Democratic National Union Movement was formed by Ieng Sary, who was granted amnesty for his role as the deputy leader of the Khmer Rouge. The organisation was largely dissolved by the mid-1990s and finally surrendered completely in 1999.
Who defeated the Khmer Rouge?
On January 7, 1979, Vietnamese troops seize the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, toppling the brutal regime of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge.
Who did 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.