Democracy languishes 30 years after Cambodian peace deal

Premier Hun Sen, now in his fourth decade in power, has led a sustained crackdown on dissent.

Three decades after a landmark agreement ended years of bloody violence in Cambodia, its strongman ruler has crushed all opposition and is eyeing dynastic succession, shattering hopes for a democratic future.

The Paris Peace Agreements, signed on Oct. 23, 1991, brought an end to nearly two decades of savage slaughter that began with the Khmer Rouge’s ascent to power in 1975.

The genocidal regime wiped out up to 2 million Cambodians through murder, starvation and overwork before a Vietnamese invasion toppled the communist Khmer Rouge but triggered a civil war.

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