Cambodia Genocide English Project

By: Evie, Charlotte, Riley, Gabbi, Jared

Cambodian Genocide

Warning signs/ causes of the genocide/ crime against humanity

A group rose up in Cambodia called the Khmer Rouge with the purpose of turning the country communist. With heavy support from China and some weapons from the US they took over Cambodia.

What happened during the genocide or crime against humanity? Acts of violence/ events during the genocide (how it meets the definition above) or is it an example of crimes against humanity?

When the Khmer Rouge took over in an attempt to turn the country communist they deported almost everyone from cities to work camps where many died from disease, malnutrition, and sometimes mass execution. Mass executions usually targeted intellectuals, supporters of the previous Cambodian government, professionals, the Buddhist Monkhood, and ethnic Minorities. However it is not clear if it is a genocide or not as some scholars say it is while others say the killings were not based on ethnicity so it cannot be classified as a genocide. Between 1.5 and 2 million people died.

Cambodian Map

There was very little response to what took place in Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge cut off all communication and had no allies. The United States and other countries did not get involved. In the 70s, Cambodia attacked its neighbors, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. This ultimately led to the downfall of the Khmer Rouge, as Vietnam responded by invading and overthrowing the corrupt organization. A quicker response, or any response, may have saved the lives of many. Standing idle should not have been an option for the US or any other country following the atrocities in WW2. Armed resistance continued into the 90s, when the United Nations stepped in to help provide stability. Many countries donated aid, but did not get involved further. The survivors of this genocide still have the haunting memories, and it is hard to say they have fully recovered. This is further justified by the fact that the perpetrators of this brutal genocide still widely go untried, with only 3 main leaders being held accountable. Many of the soldiers are still walking around freely to this day. Cambodia is still feeling the wounds of this genocide.