The Kingdom of Cambodia is a small country in southeast Asia. Many of the citizens of Cambodia are ethnically Khmers, descendants of the people who lived in the area when Angkor was the capital of the powerful Khmer Empire. This empire was at its peak between the 10th and 13th centuries and stretched over much of mainland southeast Asia.
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Attacks from the Chinese, Thai, and the Cham (from what is now Vietnam) weakened the Khmer Empire and, in 1863, Cambodia was placed under French protection. It became part of French Indochina in 1887, gaining independence following Japanese occupation in World War II. The terrifying and violent reign of Pol Pot began in the mid-'70s, resulting in the deaths of around two million Cambodians. A civil war between Vietnam and Cambodia took place from 1978 to 1989.
In 1991 the United Nations stepped in, leading to general elections in 1993 and the creation of a constitutional monarchy, led by the former ruler Norodom Sihanouk, who had been in exile. Cambodia remains a poor country but relative stability has many hopeful it will soon enter an era of prosperity.
Read more about Cambodia:
National Geographic: Cambodia Facts
The World Factbook: Cambodia