26 September 1989 The last Vietnamese troops leave Cambodia.
23 October 1991 The peace treaty is signed in Paris. There are no references to Khmer Rouge crimes. A legitimate Cambodian government is formed, with a National Supreme Council comprised of members of the four signatory factions. Norodom Sihanouk is president.
Autour de Battambang ⓒ Rotha Moeng, 2013.
Autour de Battambang ⓒ Rotha Moeng, 2013.
March 1992-November 1993 The United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) is in force, under which the first legislative elections are organized in May 1993.
24 September 1993 Sihanouk is declared King of Cambodia again after the adoption of a new Constitution. Power is shared between Norodom Ranariddh and Hun Sen.
7 July 1994 The government outlaws the Khmer Rouge. It then asks the UN for technical assistance in putting the Khmer Rouge on trial.
Phare Ponleu Selpak  ⓒ Rotha Moeng, 2013.
Phare Ponleu Selpak ⓒ Rotha Moeng, 2013.
July 1997 After a disagreement on the role of the Khmer Rouge, fighting breaks out between troops loyal to Hun Sen and those loyal to Prince Ranariddh. Ranariddh is removed from his position as Prime Minister.
15 April 1998 Pol Pot dies.
26 July 1998 Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) obtains 41.42% of the vote in the legislative elections, followed by Prince Ranariddh’s Funcinpec at 31.7%. Both parties form a coalition government headed by Hun Sen. This is due to the Constitution stating that the government must have a majority of 2/3 in Parliament in order to rule alone.
December 1998 Most of the former Khmer Rouge fighters support the government. Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea are welcomed with open arms by Hun Sen in the name of national reconciliation.
30 April 1999 Cambodia joins ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
29 January 2003 The Thai embassy and various Thai interests are attacked after a Thai artist declares Angkor was Thai.
6 June 2003 An agreement is signed between the government and the United Nations on the creation of a tribunal to judge the Khmer Rouge leaders.
27 July 2003 The CPP wins the legislative elections again, but the coalition government (CPP-Funcinpec) is not formed until a year of institutional crisis has passed.
11 September 2003 Cambodia becomes the 148th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
22 January 2004 Chea Vichea, a leader of the unionist movement close to Sam Rainsy and his party, is assassinated on the streets of Phnom Penh.
Cambodge, 2011 ⓒ Serge Nicolaï.
Cambodge, 2011 ⓒ Serge Nicolaï.
7 October 2004 King Norodom Sihanouk abdicates.
29 October 2004 Norodom Sihamoni, son of Norodom Sihanouk and his wife Monineath, is crowned king.
3 February 2005 Three opposition MPs’ parliamentary immunity is lifted, including Sam Rainsy’s. He immediately leaves the country.
10 October 2005 In Hanoi, Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Vietnamese counterpart sign the controversial complementary treaty to the Frontier Treaty of 1985, a text which ended a long dispute between the countries.
22 December 2005 Opposition leader Sam Rainsy is convicted in absentia to 18 months in prison for two complaints against him filed by the Funcinpec and Prime Minister Hun Sen for libel (accusations of corruption).
5 February 2006 King Norodom Sihamoni pardons Sam Rainsy at the request of the Prime Minister.
11 February 2006 Sam Rainsy returns to Cambodia after a year-long absence.
28 February 2006 The National Assembly reinstates the parliamentary immunity of Sam Rainsy, Cheam Channy and Chea Poch. Hun Sen calls this an act of “national reconciliation”.
6 March 2006 Prince Ranariddh resigns from his position as President of the National Assembly. He is replaced by Heng Samrin (CPP).
3 July 2006 Cambodian and foreign judges chosen to rule at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) take their oaths at the Royal Palace. This marks the start of legal action against Khmer Rouge leaders and others responsible for the gravest crimes committed in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979.
Temple d'Angkor Vat ⓒ Isabelle Van Poorten.
Temple d’Angkor Vat ⓒ Isabelle Van Poorten.
21 July 2006 Ta Mok, former head of the Khmer Rouge army, nicknamed “the Butcher”, dies at the age of 81. He was arrested in March 1999 and was in prison awaiting trial.
18 October 2006 While he is in France, Prince Ranariddh is removed from his position as President of the Funcinpec.
March 2007 Prince Ranariddh, in exile since February 2007, is sentenced to 18 months in prison in absentia for breach of trust in the case of the selling of a Funcinpec seat in Parliament.
31 July 2007 Duch, the former head of Tuol Sleng (S21), under custody since April 1999, is accused of war crimes by the ECCC. Of the five suspects, he is the first to be formally accused by the international tribunal.
13 September 2007 Following South Korean aid, MPs pass a law creating a stock market.
19 September 2007 Nuon Chea, called “Brother Number Two” and considered the ideologue behind Pol Pot’s regime, is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes after his arrest at his home in Pailin.
12 November 2007 Ieng Sary, former Foreign Minister under Pol Pot, and his wife Ieng Thirith, former Minister for Social Affairs, are arrested in their Phnom Penh home and indicted by the ECCC.
19 November 2007 Khieu Samphan, former Khmer Rouge head of state, is the fifth Khmer Rouge leader to be arrested and transferred into ECCC custody.
Phnom Penh ⓒ Rotha Moeng, 2013.
Phnom Penh ⓒ Rotha Moeng, 2013.
27 July 2008 The CPP wins the legislative elections again: they have 90 seats and 58% of the vote. Sam Rainsy’s party remains stable at 26 seats and 21.9% of the vote. The Funcinpec declines: it wins only 2 seats and 5% of the vote. It is even overtaken by two new parties, Kem Sokha’s Human Rights Party (3 seats, 6.6%), and Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s party (2 seats, 5.6%). The opposition contests the results of the election.
August 2008 Prince Ranariddh says the elections were “free and fair”.
25 September 2008 King Sihamoni pardons Prince Ranariddh, who can now return to Cambodia.
October 2009 A few days before his 87th birthday, the “King-Father” Norodom Sihanouk publishes a statement online where he declares that “this long life weighs on me too much. I want to die as soon as possible without going against the teachings of Buddha, which ban suicide.”
30 October 2011 On his 89th birthday, the “King-Father” Norodom Sihanouk declares, in front of 40,000 residents of Phnom Penh, that he “never wants to leave his motherland”.
15 October 2012 The “King-Father” Norodom Sihanouk dies in Beijing at the age of 89.
Funérailles de Norodom Sihanouk ⓒ Rotha Moeng, 2013.
Funérailles de Norodom Sihanouk ⓒ Rotha Moeng, 2013.


Timeline by Stéphanie Gée, chief editor of Ka-set*, an independent website reporting on Cambodian news (for 1989 to 2007), and by the writers of Chatomukh, a newspaper for the Cambodian community of the Île-de-France region (for 2008-2012).

Funérailles de Norodom Sihanouk ⓒ Rotha Moeng, 2013.
Funérailles de Norodom Sihanouk ⓒ Rotha Moeng, 2013.

*ka-set (“newspaper” in Khmer), comes from the French word “gazette”, which was the name of Théophraste Renaudot’s newspaper, founded in 1631. It is the name of a website with information on Cambodia and Cambodians all around the world, founded by Cambodian and French journalists. The site aimed to gather together specialists, journalists, observers and visitors wishing to look at Cambodia in a new and independent way. After several years’ existence, its creators were obliged to shut it down due to financial difficulties. The last article was put online in January 2010.
The Théâtre du Soleil thanks Stéphanie Gée of Ka-set as well as the team behind the newspaper Chatomukh for their help in creating this timeline.