Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation
The Kampuchean (or Khmer) United Front for National Salvation (KUFNS), French
acronym FUNSK (Front d'Union nationale pour le salut du Kampuchea), was the nucleus of a new Cambodian regime, that
would later establish the People's Republic of Kampuchea
Its foundation took place in 1978 in Vietnam by Cambodians determined to overthrow Pol Pot's bloody regime. It was a Cambodian politico-military organization that legitimized the
Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, precipitating the ensuing defeat of the Khmer
Rouge's Democratic Kampuchea. It brought about the foundation of the new state named 'People's Republic of
Kampuchea' and the reconstruction of the shattered and desperately impoverished country. This organization has
undergone various name changes as it has expanded and adapted to the different historical realities in
The Salvation Front (1978-1981)
Politically the Salvation Front (FUNSK) was a pro-Hanoi umbrella organization of the Marxist
Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party (KPRP). The
FUNSK was formed within Cambodia in an area around Kratie that had been liberated from the Khmer Rouge by Cambodian
Communists who didn't share Pol Pot's virulent Anti-Vietnamese policies that led to bloody purges in Eastern
Cambodia in 1977. The date of the Salvation Front's foundation was December 2nd, 1978, in what Khmer socialist
militants called a "Reunion Congress". The aim of the FUNSK was to expand as a Cambodian front in order to
overthrow Pol Pot's regime of terror. The Salvation Front drew eleven points for the reconstruction of the country.
These points would be used after the establishment of the PRK to motivate Cambodians to support the rebuilding
efforts and the Pro-Soviet structure of the new state to keep the revolution alive with a moderate, pragmatic and
humane approach compared to the Khmer Rouge. Although the front was largely controlled by KPRP communists, it
included quite a few Non-communists in its leadership, such as Cambodian Buddhist religious figures, as well as
Kampuchean United Front for National Construction and Defence (1981-2006)
In 1981, two years after the liberation from Phnom Penh, the Salvation Front was renamed
"Kampuchean United Front for National Construction and Defence", Front d'union pour l'édification et la défense de
la patrie du Cambodge (KUFNCD or UFCDK). Years after the establishement of the People's Republic of Kampuchea, the
Front remained as the main political organization of the pro-Hanoi Cambodian state. The front's role in the
political life of the nation was officially established in the PRK Constitution, which stated in Article 3 that
"The Kampuchean Front for National Construction and the revolutionary mass organizations constitute a solid support
base of the state, encouraging the people to fulfill their revolutionary tasks."
Solidarity Front for Development of the Cambodian Motherland (2006-Present)
On the 5th congress of the Kampuchean United Front for National Construction and Defence, held
in Phnom Penh, on the 29th April 2006, the name of the KUFNCD was changed to "Solidarity Front for Development of
the Cambodian Motherland", Front de solidarité pour le développement de la Patrie du Cambodge (SFDCM).
This organization, so important in its heyday, has lost much importance in Cambodian present-day
The Front's specific missions were to transmit party policies to the masses, to act as an
ombudsman, and to mobilize the people around the regime's efforts to consolidate the so-called "worker-peasant
alliance." The front's cadres were required to stay in close touch with the people, to report their needs and
problems to authorities, and to conduct mass campaigns to generate support for the regime, or to lead "emulation"
drives to spur the population to greater efforts in pursuit of specific goals.
The cadres were also responsible for organizing networks of Salvation Front activists in
villages and in communes and for coordinating their functions with cadres of various mass organizations. Often this
involved long indoctrination sessions and getting villagers to paint banners and hoardings related to the Salvation
Front propaganda. This created some resentment in the eyes of the people who perceived that the effort could have
been directed towards more productive work.
The Front also was responsible for conducting "activities of friendship," which were aimed at
improving the climate for close cooperation with "the Vietnamese people and the Vietnamese army and experts."
Another major function of the front was to reeducate Buddhist monks so that they would "discard the narrow-minded
views of dividing themselves into groups and factions" and would participate more actively in the revolutionary
endeavors of the Salvation Front.
Presently the Solidarity Front for Development of the Cambodian Motherland (SFDCM), the
Salvation Front's latest avatar, organizes national and international events, like sports venues and trade fairs on
behalf of the Cambodian government.
Among the more important mass organizations affiliated with the KUFNCD as an umbrella
organization were the following:
Kampuchean Federation of Trade Unions (KFTU). It had 62,000 members in December 1983 and was officially
described as "the training school of the working class for economic and administrative management".
Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Youth Union (KPRYU), an important reservoir of candidate members for
the KPRP and "a school of Marxism" for people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-six. As of March
1987, when the Youth Union held its Second National Congress, there were more than 50,000 members in
villages, factories, enterprises, hospitals, schools, public offices, and the armed forces.
Kampuchean Revolutionary Youth Association (KRYA), an 800,000- member group for children (aged 9 to
Kampuchean Young Pioneers Organization (KYPO), a 450,000-member group for preschoolers under the
general guidance of the KPRYU and the KRYA.
Kampuchean Revolutionary Women's Association (KRWA), which claimed 923,000 members as of October 1983.
All the organizations under the KUFNCD held rallies to arouse public awareness on national
commemorative occasions such as the following:
Kampuchea-Vietnam Solidarity Day on February 18.
Day of Hatred ("against the genocidal Pol Pot-Ieng Sary- Khieu Samphan clique and the Sihanouk-Son Sann
reactionary groups") observed on May 20.
Day of Solidarity between the People and the Army celebrated on June 19.