The Vietnamese government have just released official film of events which took place during the recent border war between Vietnam and Cambodia.
The Vietnamese government have just released official film of events which took place during the recent border war between Vietnam and Cambodia. Vietnam claims that Cambodian troops who penetrated Vietnamese territory committed a variety of barbaric acts against the civilian population of the border area -- and support these allegations with both pictorial evidence and alleged confessions from captured Cambodian soldiers.
SYNOPSIS: The Vietnamese authorities say that Cambodian troops moved into Vietnamese villages at night and struck without warning. They say buildings were burned, entire areas razed and looted and that the destruction took place along the entire length of the border area.
Hundreds of families are alleged to have been forced to flee their homes and many people have had to withdraw from the border areas as refugees and seek safety eastwards. In mid-January it was reported from Bangkok that Vietnamese troops had opened a corridor along the border and had cut communications between the two countries. At the same time a lull in the fighting shifted the emphasis of the conflict from the battlefield to the diplomatic front.
Vietnam claims that the Cambodian invaders trussed people up and burned them alive, chopped off hands, noses and ears, raped women and systematically butchered whole families. They say continuous streams of civilians were brought into hospital from the surrounding countryside. Towards the end of January, it was reported that 60,000 Vietnamese troops were maintaining positions up to 20 miles inside Cambodia.
As this film was shot populated areas in the border region were still littered with the sad evidence of war. Many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition, but Vietnam claims they were all civilians. The enmity between Cambodia and Vietnam goes back to the 17th century and has been exacerbated ever since by both colonial interference and deep-rooted ethnic hatred. Recently Cambodia has accused Vietnam of wanting to establish and dominate an Indo-Chinese union.