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Their regime was murderous and, over the next four years, over 1 million Cambodians were killed and up to another 2 million died from starvation or exhaustion.The Khmer Rouge emptied the cities of people, forcing everyone to live off the land.In September 1975, the government formed a Supreme National Council with new leadership, with the aim of negotiating a surrender to the Khmer Rouge.
Ethnic groups were attacked including the three largest minorities; the Vietnamese, Chinese, and Cham Muslims, along with twenty other smaller groups.He began by declaring, “This is Year Zero,” and that society was about to be “purified.” Capitalism, Western culture, city life, religion, and all foreign influences were to be extinguished in favor of an extreme form of peasant Communism.All foreigners were thus expelled, embassies closed, and any foreign economic or medical assistance was refused. Newspapers and television stations were shut down, radios and bicycles confiscated, and mail and telephone usage curtailed. All businesses were shuttered, religion banned, education halted, health care eliminated, and parental authority revoked.The Khmer Rouge force captured Phnom Penh in April 1975; then evacuated the city and began a radical revolutionary experiment.After the Vietnamese invasion in 1978, Pol Pot and the remnants of the Khmer Rouge forces escaped to the Thai border where, with support from ASEAN and China, they set up resistance against the Vietnamese troops and the Vietnamese backed government in Phnom Penh.