Vietnamese defense officials have reaffirmed Việt Nam was forced to use its just right of self defence in the war against the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime.– Photo baoangiang.vn
AN GIANG – Vietnamese defense officials have reaffirmed Việt Nam was forced to use its just right of self defence in the war against the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime.
Speaking at a conference yesterday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the victory (January 7, 1979) over the Khmer Rouge held in An Giang southern province, Senior Lieutenant General, Deputy Minister of Defence Lê Chiêm, said when Việt Nam launched the attack on the regime, it was purely out of the desire to support Cambodia’s people and its revolution troops.
Chiêm said when Pol Pot’s troops conducted cross-border raids into Việt Nam, massacring civilians and torching villages, Việt Nam was forced to respond by launching an attack in late December 1978 to remove Pol Pot.
The conference would be a good opportunity to remind the country’s national defence staff and the young generation about the integrity of the Vietnamese army during the war against the Khmer Rouge and educate them about the national pride and its desire for peace.
Senoir Lieutenant General Nguyễn Trọng Nghĩa, member of the Military Central Commission and deputy head of the General Department of Politics, said since 1975, the Khmer Rouge conducted many raids into Vietnamese territory where they slaughtered a huge number of Vietnamese civilians. The Vietnamese Party and State had exercised restraint and a policy of peace and friendship but the regime escalated their invasion activities forcing Viet Nam into a defensive war.
On January 7, 1979, the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation with the support of the people, and the great and timely help of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers overthrew the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime, bringing a bright future to the country.
“The victory was meaningful as we could not only protect our country’s territory, but also save Cambodian people from the genocidal regime, helping them gain back the right to live, to step into a period of real freedom,” Nghĩa said.
Major General Nguyễn Hoàng Nhiên, Director of the Việt Nam Institute of Military History, said the fight against Pol Pot was a necessary and just defence move of the Vietnamese army.
“Many people had different views on this matter, but many also approved of Viêt Nam’s action and condemned the genocidal regime,” Nhiên said.
He said the matter was again confirmed by the convictions given out by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia for the former leaders of the Cambodia’s Democratic Kampuchea.--VNS