Cambodia has welcomed an announcement by the United Nations that a long-awaited tribunal to try surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge can go ahead.

Reports from Phnom Penh Saturday, quote spokesmen for the government and a Cambodian human rights group, Licadho, who say they hope the tribunal can be formed as soon as possible.

The decision to go ahead with the Khmer Rouge trials was announced at U.N. headquarters Friday, one day after the European Commission pledged $1.3 million to help fund the tribunal.

The United Nations and Cambodia agreed last December on a three-year budget of $56 million for the special court. Phnom Penh is to contribute $13 million, and as of last month international donors had pledged another $38 million.

The Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, a time in which an estimated two million Cambodians either were killed outright or died of starvation, disease and overwork.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.