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Cold War Files: All Units: Events: Khmer Rouge Deposes Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia

March 18, 1970
Khmer Rouge Deposes Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia

Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia is deposed by General Lon Nol.

Sihanouk, who had been out of the country at the time of the coup, then aligns with Cambodian Communists, known as the Khmer Rouge, in an effort to oust Lon Nol's regime.

The Khmer Rouge are led by an unknown figure named Pol Pot, who eagerly capitalizes on the enormous prestige and popularity of Prince Sihanouk to increase support for his Khmer Rouge movement among Cambodians. Pol Pot will later violently oust Lon Nol then begin a radical experiment to create an agrarian utopia, resulting in the deaths of 25 percent of the country's population (2,000,000 persons) from starvation, overwork and systematic executions.

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