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Cam bod i a, the once rich and powerful Khmer Empire, has endured more than 30 years of upheaval. Nixon had US forces secretly bomb the country in 1969 during the Vietnam War. In 19'15 communist dictatol' Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge govel'nment took power from deposed King Norodom Sihanouk, kiUing an estimated two miUion people in an attempt to create one huge l'uI'al, agriculture-based coUective. Vietnam invaded in 19'19. AU factions signed a peace accol'd in 1991 and UN-sponsored elections were held in 1993. Though the fighting never l'eaUy stopped, Cambodia seemed set to l'etuI'n to the world. The decades of war have left the country ridden with about 10 miUion mines­ resulting in thousands of victims but the lure of culture and natul'al beauty, from the ancient temples such as Angkor Wat to the mighty Tonle Sap River whose flow switches dh'ection evel'y six months-is strong. Between 1991 and 1996 the number of visitors to Cambodia rose from "',500 to 300,000. Then civil war bl'oke out once again, when strongman and co-premier Hun Sen staged a bloody coup against co-premiel' Prince Norodom Ranariddh last July. Now royal­ ist troops fight Hun Sen's troops fight Khmer Rouge tI'oops. This July marks new elections. The international community is rooting for the prince, aUowed to retul'n from exile fOl' the event. The Cambodian people hope for peace. Olivier Pin-Fat went to Cambodia in January, in the wake of the ratification of the Ottawa Landmine Treaty banning the use and production of mines, which Cambodia signed. He documented what he saw from Phnom Penh to the frontline in O'Smach. Here are some of his photographs and notes.

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