Cambodian Genocide Essay

1226 Words5 Pages
The Cambodian Genocide Part 1: Before the Genocide. Cambodia is a country in South East Asia, less than half the size of California. Once it was the center of the ancient kingdom of the Khmer, and its capital was Angkor, famous for its 12th century temples. In 1953 Cambodia gained independence after nearly 100 years of French rule. In the 1960s the population was over seven million, almost all Buddhists, under the rule of a monarch, Prince Sihanouk. In 1970 Prince Sihanouk was deposed in a military coup. The leader of the new government was lieutenant-general Lon Nol, who was made president of the 'Khmer Republic'. Prince Sihanouk and his followers joined forces with a communist guerrilla organization founded in 1960 and known as the Khmer Rouge. They attacked Lon Nol's army and civil war began. During their own civil war, Cambodia was also caught up in another country's war. Cambodia's neighbors to the east, Vietnam, were also fighting against the French to gain independence. When the French were defeated in 1954, Vietnam was divided in two: communist North Vietnam and South Vietnam. A war between the two immediately broke out. In 1964, the USA entered the Vietnam War. The inconclusive war in Vietnam cost many American and Vietnamese lives, devastated the country, and achieved nothing but misery for anyone caught up in it; including the Cambodians. Cambodia had become part of the Vietnam battlefield. During the next four years, American B-52 bombers, using napalm and cluster-bombs, killed up to 750,000 Cambodians in their effort to destroy North Vietnamese supply lines. . It's estimated that 156,000 died in the civil war - half of them innocent Cambodian civilians. Part 2: The Genocide. The Cambodian Genocide refers to the attempt of Khmer Rouge party leader Lon Nol to nationalize and centralize the peasant farming society of Cambodia virtually overnight. This

More about Cambodian Genocide Essay

Open Document