Cambodia : A short history
From ancient times through to 1863 Cambodia was a monarchy.
In 1863 France colonised the region, joining Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam into a single protectorate known as ‘French Indochina’. Cambodia remained under French control until 1953.
In 1975 the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia. Under the leadership of Pol Pot, they cut off communication with the rest of the world, closed schools, hospitals and factories and abolished currency.
Almost 2 million people died between 1975 and 1979 – including most of the countries educated people and professionals who were executed by the Khmer Rouge.
The Vietnamese over threw the Khmer Rouge in 1979 but the Khmer Rouge maintained a guerilla war through out the 1980’s in the west of the country.
In the 1990’s, Cambodia’s constitutional monarchy was reinstated.
In 1999, Cambodia was finally at peace.
Today, Cambodia is still recovering from decades of war. They are rebuilding their economy, clearing land mines and beginning to rebuild their education and health systems.
Poverty is widespread and many Cambodians lack access to clean water and food, education, healthcare and a safe place to live. There is much work to be done.