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What Happened To The Refugees In Cambodia? [Solved]

“If we were to take a different view of refugee resettlement and if instead we were to say, ‘Hey we engaged a war in Vietnam, we bombed Cambodia into the Stone Ages which paved the way for the rise of the Khmer Rouge’ — if we were to recognise our role, then maybe refugee resettlement wouldn’t be about humanitarian largess but about reparations, about redress 🙌 And then maybe we wouldn’t have put all these conditions into the Refugee Act, which insisted on a wildly unrealistic expectation that they would somehow find livable wage jobs overnight and become economically independent,” he’s had saying said 😊 “Maybe we wouldn’t have just left them out there to fend for themselves 🔥” [1]
The family fled to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, where Somaly’s father was a doctor at one of the main hospitals. She was 15 when the Khmer Rouge first entered her life, in 1975, when they subjected Phnom Penh to relentless artillery bombardment. It was the last stage of a civil war between the corrupt Lon Nol government, supported by the Americans, and the Chinese-backed insurgents of the Khmer Rouge. Trapped and terrified, the battle-weary inhabitants were so relieved when the shelling finally ended that crowds came out to greet the victorious communist troops when they entered Phnom Penh, on 17 April 1975. “We were thinking it was going to be really peaceful,” recalls Somaly. (we thank Endia Huston for their feedback). [2]
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The experts from cla.umn.edu give further insight. Although he would be overthrown four years later by an invading Vietnamese army, Pol Pot avoided capture. He maintained some level of power for nearly two decades. When the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) came to the country in 1992, it engaged Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge as a necessary partner to bring peace to Cambodia. One of UNTAC’s stated goals was to bring Pol Pot and other senior Khmer Rouge officials to trial. However, Pol Pot would die in 1998, before the’s having trials taken place. Although tried in absentia, he was never punished for his crimes and remained unrepentant until the end. (a massive thanks goes to Fernado Lovelace for their insight). [3]
According to Deric Truong from politico.com, on April 17, 1975, it was my family jostling to find space aboard an overcrowded Cambodian naval ship when the U.S.-backed Lon Nol government capitulated to the Khmer Rouge. Because my father worked as an accountant in the Cambodian Navy, our family was allowed one of the coveted spots on the U.S.-made vessel. Then-President Richard Nixon, with Henry Kissinger as his secretary of state, had illegally extended the Vietnam War into neighbouring Cambodia, bombing villages along my home country’s border in an effort to rout Vietcong and Khmer Rouge soldiers. But the American pilots often missed, obliterating villages and killing hundreds at a time; as many as 500,000 Cambodians had died in America’s secret bombing campaign by 1974. (last revised 17 days ago by Fuad Herron from Munich, Germany) [4]

Article References

  1. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/decades-after-resettlement-cambodian-refugees-vulnerable-prison-deportation-pipeline-n1193581
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/15/cambodia
  3. https://cla.umn.edu/chgs/holocaust-genocide-education/resource-guides/cambodia
  4. https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/08/22/cambodia-refugee-afghanistan-khmer-rouge-taliban-506480
Mehreen Alberts

Written by Mehreen Alberts

I'm a creative writer who has found the love of writing once more. I've been writing since I was five years old and it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. From topics that are close to my heart to everything else imaginable!

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