The Khmer Rouge (Khmer: Kmae Krahaam; French for "Red Khmer") were a Stalinist, Maoist militant group in Cambodia. They took over the capital, Phnom Penh, on 17 April 1975. It was led by Pol Pot, who was called Saloth Sar before the take over. They named the country Democratic Kampuchea. They immediately forced everyone out of the cities, effectively turning the whole country into a giant labor camp. They were defeated by the Vietnamese in January of 1979. During the Khmer Rouge Years, between 1.7 million and 3 million people were killed (20–35% of the population) in a genocide comparable to the Holocaust. The international community continued to recognize the Khmer Rouge as the government of Kampuchea for a decade after they were defeated. Therefore the Khmer Rouge held a seat in the United Nations until 1989.
Pol Pot died in 1998. He was cremated without any ceremony. By 1999, the Khmer Rouge disbanded.