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Cambodia: 1994

1956: Cambodia

1957: Cambodia
1958: Cambodia
1959: Cambodia
1960: Cambodia
1961: Cambodia
1962: Cambodia
1963: Cambodia
1964: Cambodia
1965: Cambodia
1966: Cambodia
1967: Cambodia
1968: Cambodia
1969: Cambodia
1970: Cambodia
1971: Cambodia
1972: Cambodia (Khmer Republic)
1973: Cambodia (Khmer Republic)
1974: Cambodia (Khmer Republic)
1975: Cambodia
1976: Cambodia
1977: Cambodia
1978: Cambodia
1979: Cambodia
1980: Cambodia
1981: Cambodia
1982: Cambodia
1983: Cambodia
1984: Cambodia
1985: Cambodia
1986: Cambodia
1987: Cambodia
1988: Cambodia
1989: Cambodia
1990: Cambodia
1991: Cambodia
1992: Cambodia
1993: Cambodia
1994: Cambodia
1995: Cambodia
1996: Cambodia
1997: Cambodia
1998: Archaeology: Radar Reveals Hidden Ruins in Cambodia
1998: Cambodia: Hun Sen Declares Election Victory
1998: Pol Pot Dies at 73
1998: Coalition Government

Archives consist of articles that originally appeared in Collier's Year Book (for events of 1997 and earlier) or as monthly updates in Encarta Yearbook (for events of 1998 and later). Because they were published shortly after events occurred, they reflect the information available at that time. Cross references refer to Archive articles of the same year.


1994: Cambodia

Early in 1994 the situation in Cambodia looked promising. The UN had withdrawn the last of its troops and advisers, humanitarian assistance and foreign investment had surged, and in March the international community promised millions of dollars in development aid. But hopes were soon dashed. Corruption and factionalism weakened the ability to govern of the uneasy coalition elected under UN auspices in May 1993. Hostilities between the Cambodian Army and the Khmer Rouge, who had boycotted the elections and who still controlled parts of northern and western Cambodia, continued. In March government troops took control of the Khmer Rouge base town of Pailin, only to lose it a month later. Pitched battles were fought for Battambang, and raids and ambushes intensified around Siemreab, near Angkor Wat. Both sides were accused by human rights groups of having carried out indiscriminate assassinations, kidnappings, and extortion; up to 50,000 refugees fled over the border to Thailand within just a few months.

King Norodom Sihanouk, the head of state, favored trying to bring the Khmer Rouge into the coalition. The joint prime ministers — Prince Norodom Ranariddh, leader of the royalist United National Front for an Independent, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia (and Sihanouk's son), and Hun Sen, leader of the Cambodian People's Party and premier of the Vietnam-installed government of 1979-1993 — did not. Responding to an appeal from Sihanouk, however, the government agreed to talks with the Khmer Rouge. The talks began in May but by mid-June had reached deadlock, and soon afterward the government closed down the Khmer Rouge's office in Phnom Penh. On July 3 there was an apparent coup attempt, reportedly led by Prince Norodom Chakrapong, another of Sihanouk's sons (who had allied himself with the Khmer Rouge after being expelled from the Hun Sen government for his part in a 1993 coup attempt). Four days later the National Assembly approved legislation outlawing the Khmer Rouge.

Hostilities escalated almost immediately. An American aid worker and her two local assistants were kidnapped, as were 16 passengers on a train ambushed by the Khmer Rouge in Kampot. Among the passengers were three backpackers from Australia, England, and France. After a confusion of ransom demands by many bogus intermediaries, some kidnap victims were released. The backpackers were found murdered in November. Ransom demands for the three had included requests first for money and then for an end to military aid to the Cambodian government by Australia, England, and France.



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