Cambodia
Political Office Holders
Genocide

How did Pol Pot seize control?

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07/02/2014

Pol Pot, real name Sareth Sar, came from a wealthy Cambodian background and was educated in Paris. While in France, he became active in Communist groups. Upon Cambodiaâ??s independence, Pol Pot returned and joined the Khmer Peopleâ??s Revolutionary Party. A government crackdown on communists caused the group to move deep into the sparsely populated northern countryside where they were able to gain control. A natural leader, Pol Pot, was soon in control. Following Nixonâ??s covert Cambodian bombing campaign, the Khmer Rouge grew to the point where they controlled roughly three-quarters of Cambodiaâ??s territory. They began the shelling of Phnom Phen and claimed victory in April, 1975.