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Cambodia

Yearbook 1997

Cambodia. According to Countryaah, Cambodia's internal riots flared up again into open military violence that drove thousands of people to flight and threatened to wreck the relative peace that the 1993 UN elections created. When grenades killed 16 people at a political opposition meeting in Phnom Penh in late March, many Cambodian People's Party (CPP) suspects, led by Second Prime Minister Hun Sen. Three months later, fights broke out in the capital between CPP troops and allies loyal to First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh's (son of King Sihanouk) party FUNCINPEC, since the election in government alliance with CPP. In early July, Hun Sen stood as a victor in Phnom Penh and declared Ranariddh deposed. This fled the country with about 20 of his party's MPs.

New first prime minister became Ung Huot, a member of the FUNCINPEC faction that has stayed in Phnom Penh. Hun Sen's coup was, however, condemned by the outside world, and Southeast Asia's cooperation body ASEAN suspended K's planned membership. In the UN, the country's place was left vacant. King Sihanouk, who returned from China in the fall, refused to bless the regime that overthrew his son but offered to mediate. Hun Sen said that Ranariddh was welcome home but that he must be investigated for smuggling weapons and cooperating with the guerrilla Red Khmer.

In the countryside, FUNCINPEC continued its opposition to CPP. In August, Ranariddh's troops were forced back to northern K. Tens of thousands of civilians fled into Thailand.

In July, images worldwide were circulated by Red Khmer's notorious leader Pol Pot, who has not been seen since 1979. Journalist Nate Thayer had filmed in the jungle party Anlong Veng when a gray, disease-marked Pol Pot was imprisoned by his former comrades for a lifetime of "treason against the nation. ". Many dismissed the trial as a spectacle of the divided guerrilla to clean up its bloodstained facade. In an interview for Thayer, Pol Pot claimed that he was innocent of the genocide under the rule of the Red Khmer in 1975-79 and that he had no regrets.

1997 Cambodia

Funded by the Japanese government, Spien Kizuna opened the bridge over the Cambodian part of the Mekong River. The bridge is 1 km long and is located 75 km northeast of the capital. The government expects the opening to stimulate domestic trade, and strengthen relations with Laos and Vietnam, which the river is also going through.

In February 2002, local elections were held for the first time in many years. She Sen's party, Pracheachon won the election in 1597 of the country's 1620 municipalities, Funcinpec won in 13, and Sam Rainsy's party won in 10. Although the election was not completely free and was conducted in a very violent atmosphere - at least 20 candidates from Funcinpec and PSR were killed during the election campaign - then the election is expected to have a positive impact in the longer term.

In March, the government set a deadline for the UN on when the negotiations for prosecution of Khmer Rouge leaders should begin. Already in April 1999, Cambodia had reached an agreement with the United Nations on the establishment of a tribunal to prosecute Khmer Rouge leaders for their crimes against humanity under Pol Pot's rule. According to the government, the low-ranking leaders should not be prosecuted. The process should instead be directed at those leaders who had a direct responsibility for the genocide. However, in February 2002, the United Nations withdrew its support for the process because the organization doubted that the Court could achieve sufficient independence and impartiality, as national law is in agreement with the UN.

The government accepted the transfer of 900 man-days to the United States. They had fled Vietnam from Cambodia in 2001 as a result of the persecution they were facing from the Vietnamese government. By then, human rights groups had condemned a repatriation agreement between Pnomh Penh and Hanoi because it opened up a forced expulsion of the refugees to their homeland. In February 2002, a Vietnamese newspaper had for the first time accused Cambodia of forcibly repatriating the Montagnards.

Following intense negotiations, Cambodia was admitted to the WTO in September 2003 during the organization's summit in Cancun, Mexico. This allowed Cambodia to achieve a higher degree of economic integration regionally and globally. The country also entered into a bilateral trade agreement with Australia.

 

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