National United Front of Kampuchea

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The Front uni national du Kampuchéa, also called Front uni national khmer (the Khmer United National Front, Khmer: រណសិរ្សរួបរួមជាតិកម្ពុជា), commonly called by its French acronym FUNK, was an organisation formed by the deposed King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk in 1970 while he was in exile in Beijing.


The front was supposed to be an umbrella organization of forces that opposed Lon Nol's seizure of power; however, the Communist Party of Kampuchea/Khmer Rouge guerrillas formed the basic military force of the Front. Apart from the communists, there were two distinct factions that participated in the insurgency: the pro-Sihanouk royalists (Khmer Rumdo), who never held real power in the front, and secondly, the pro-North Vietnamese cadres of Khmer Issarak.[1]

The territories controlled by the guerrillas were nominally led by a Royal United National Government of Kampuchea (GRUNK).[2] The government was based in Beijing. Sihanouk remained the head of state in that government, Penn Nouth was the prime minister and Khieu Samphan the deputy prime minister, minister of defense and commander-in-chief of the GRUNK forces.[3] The possibility to exploit peasant masses' traditional adherence to Cambodia's monarchs greatly helped the Khmer Rouge to recruit members to the front. China, the USSR and North Vietnam backed the 'Royal Government', whereas North Vietnamese retained a more pro-Sihanouk stance as the Khmer Rouge began to consolidate their positions in 1971.[4] The deposed king remained a figurehead of the front and nominal head of state until Khmer Rouge victory over Lon Nol in 1975.


  1. ^ Stephen J. Morris, Why Vietnam invaded Cambodia: political culture and the causes of war, p. 54
  2. ^ Stephen J. Morris, Why Vietnam invaded Cambodia: political culture and the causes of war
  3. ^ James A. Tyner, The killing of Cambodia: geography, genocide and the unmaking of space. p. 73
  4. ^ Stephen J. Morris, Why Vietnam invaded Cambodia: political culture and the causes of war

See also


  • Milton Osborne, Sihanouk, Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness. Silkworm 1994

External links

  • Political programme of the National United Front of Kampuchea (NUFK) : (adopted unanimously by the Congress held in Peking on Sunday, May 3, 1970)
  • The Armed struggle and life of the Khmer people in the liberated areas in pictures.
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