Khmer Rouge Tribunal, helping Cambodians heal, nears end

Hybrid UN-Cambodia court has been criticised for its slow pace and lack of convictions, but experts say it forced the country to confront the horrors of its past.

After 19 years, hundreds of millions of dollars and just two successful convictions, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Phnom Penh is approaching its end.

The only case now ongoing for atrocities committed in Cambodia by Pol Pot’s brutal regime is an appeal by Khieu Samphan, who was convicted in 2018. The country’s youthful population is anxious to move on from a national identity characterised by a genocide it does not remember, while an ageing political elite is keen to limit chains of accountability before they edge too close to home.

Cambodia’s National Assembly, where the ruling party has every seat, has voted unanimously to wind up the court’s activities by the end of this year.

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