of Co-Investigating Judges You Bunleng and Marcel Lemonde, 15 September 2010
V. MILITARY STRUCTURE
A. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE REVOLUTIONARY ARMY OF KAMPUCHEA
- 113. The Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea (“RAK”) was a core institution within the CPK governed Democratic Kampuchea.337 CPK policy relied heavily on the implementation of is goals by forceful means, making the military an important part of its government apparatus. From the outset, the CPK considered that “for self-defense and self-liberation it is imperative to use violence, whether political violence or armed violence. It is imperative that the people be armed, that is, there must be an army … in order to defend the people, to defend the revolution, and to go on the offensive to counter-attack the enemy”.338
- 114. The CPK asserted that its armed forces originated in “a Secret Defence Unit.339 By 1968 these forces had been upgraded into “armed guerrilla units”.340 17 January 1968 marks the official launch of an armed struggle and the birth of the CPK “revolutionary army”.341 According to the official line of the Party, by 1969 “the preconditions for an army were already there …In some locations, in the major Zones, there were already companies, many units, platoons, squads, teams. Other locations had just platoons, squads, and teams. However, those forces were the ranks of a Revolutionary Army!”.342 In March 1970, the latter was officially designated as the “Cambodian People’s National Liberation Armed Forces” (CPNLAF).
- 115. The formal reorganization of the armed forces was proclaimed in July 1975, at a gathering that was officially described as an “important political conference of the CPK Centre for approximately 3,000 representatives of every unit of the Revolutionary Army, “ which was addressed by “the comrade chairman of the High-Level Military Committee of the Party”.343
RAK received expert assistance344 and military equipment345 from other countries, most prominently from China.
B. ROLE OF RAK
- 116. The role of the RAK is defined in two central documents on the organization of Democratic Kampuchea. Article 19 of the Constitution of Democratic Kampuchea describes the two goals of the Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea (RAK): “defend the State power of the Kampuchean people … and at the same time help to build a country “.346 According to Article 27 of the Communist Party of Kampuchea Statute, the RAK was responsible for both external and internal security, as well as generally participating in “building the country”.347 This understanding of the RAK’s role was repeated and reiterated in various CPK publications and Party committee meetings.348
- 117. External security or national defence was the core task of the RAK, in particular in the context of the armed conflict with SRV and in relation to border disputes.349 Internal security comprised of the defence of the CPK rule against perceived enemies and spies within the armed forces, the Party and the country as a whole.
- 118. With the term “building the country”, the Party imposed upon the RAK a responsibility for furthering prosperity and increasing the people’s living standards,350 and also committing the armed forces to strive for the achievement of the four-year-plan’s goal of a rice paddy yield of three tons per hectare.351 In addition, each military unit was supposed to support itself, with the exception of troops at the border.352