Wednesday, January 11, 2006

January 7: A recap of the KR’s fall

The Cambodia Daily
Monday, January 9, 2006

Alain Salvarelli

Back in 1979, the Khmer Rouge had been in power for four years. Former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan was sitting in the UN seat, the name of the country had been changed to Kampuchea and year zero had already started.
Cambodia was occupied by various Khmer Rouge factions.
The hardcore Pol Pot-supporting factions were occupying the western side of the Mekong river whereas the softcore Khmer Rouge factions, including many students, were occupying the eastern side.
Then Pol Pot started to purge his troops on the western side of the Mekong, after which he crossed over the Mekong to purge the eastern side as well.
So many of the softcore Khmer Rouge, fearing for their lives sought refuge in Vietnam.
Pol Pot went after them into Vietnam, attacking the Vietnamese and committing numerous atrocities for about three days. The Vietnamese fought back and pushed Pol Pot’s troops back to the border and kept chasing them until Phnom Penh was reached on Jan 7, 1979.
Phnom Penh was then emptied of the Khmer Rouge, who took refuge in various mountainous areas.
So Jan 7 was born. Otherwise, the Khmer Rouge would probably still be in power and I would probably not be able to write this letter.


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