The Hanoitimes - Vietnam fought back to save its civilians and Cambodians, helping to end the decade-long civil war in Cambodia.
Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, deputy minister of the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense, has said that Vietnam’s involvement in the battles against Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge regime was a defensive war.
The genocide in Cambodia caused by Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970-80s and its massive killing of Vietnamese civilians along the common border forced Vietnam to send troops to save Cambodians and prevent the war from spreading into Vietnam, Vinh said.
Vietnamese Deputy Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh. Photo: Infonet
Vietnam was in dilemma before deciding to participate in the battles as the country didn’t want to either involve in any other war after 30 years fighting against French and Americans or intervene in other countries’ internal affairs, Vinh said in an interview with the Ministry of Information and Communications-run Infonet e-newspaper.
He said that Khmer Rouge conducted provocation acts towards Vietnam since 1972 when they attacked several Vietnamese military bases in Cambodia. In 1975-1976, their troops encroached on Vietnamese territory, abducted and brutally slew civilians.
On June 21, 1977, the now Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen fled to Vietnam to seek help to liberate his country from the genocidal regime. In the same year, thousands of Cambodians escaped to Vietnam to seek a shelter as the genocide death-roll reached millions.
On April 18, 1978, the Pol Pot troops attacked and killed 3,157 civilians in Ba Chuc village in Tri Ton district of Vietnam’s An Giang province, which borders with Cambodia’s Takeo and Kandal.
Blood stains left at a site when Pol Pot troops killed more than 3,000 Vietnamese civilians in An Giang in 1978. Photo: Documentary
After a series of brutal activities, Vietnam had done by all means to call for an end of Khmer Rouge’s massive killing of Cambodians and their aggression against Vietnam as well, Vinh said.
After tireless efforts, Vietnam fought back to save its civilians and Cambodians, helping to end the decade-long civil war in Cambodia, Vinh stated.