Monday, June 21, 2010

First Indochina War (contd-3)

The following day, peace talks on Indochina began in Geneva, attended by DRV, Associated State of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, France , Britain, China, the Soviet Union, and the United States. In July a compromise agreement was reached cosisting of two documents, a ceaase fire and a final declaration. The ceasefire agreement, which was signed only by France and theDRV, established a provisional military demarcation line at about the 17 degree N parallel and required the regroupment of all French military forces south of that line and of all Viet minh military forces north of the line. A demilitarized zone (DMZ), no more than five kms wide, was established on either side of the demarcation line.The cease fire agreement also provided for a 300-day period, during which all civillians were free to move from one zone to the other, and an international Control Commission , consisting of Canada, India,and Poland, to supervise the ceasefire. The final declaration was  endorsed through recorded oral assent by the DRV, France, Britain, China, and the Soviet Union. It provided for the holding of national elections in July 1956, under he supervision of the of the International Control Commission, and stated that the military demarcation line was provisional and "should not in any way be interpreted as constituting a political territorial boundary." Both the United States and the Associated State of Vietnam, which France had recognized on June 4, as a fully independent and sovereign statte," refused to approve the final declaration and submitted separate declarations stating their reservations.
The Geneva Agreements were viewed with doubt and dissatisfaction on all sides.Concern over possible United States Intervention, should the Geneva talks fail, was probably a major factor The united states had disassociated itself from the final declaration, although it had stated that it would refrain from the threat or use of force to disturb the agreements. President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote to the new prime minister of the Bao Dai Govt. Ngo Dinh Diem, in Sept 1954 promising United States support for non-communist Vietnam. Direct United States aid to South Vietnam began in Jan 1955, and American advisors began arriving the following month to train South Vietnamese army troops.By early 1955, Diem had consolidated his contro; by moving against lawless elements in the Saigon area and by suppressing the religious sects in the Mekong Delta. He also launched a "denounce the Communists"  campaign, in which, according to communist accounts , 25,000communist sympathizers were arrested and more than thousand killed. In Aug 1955, Diem issued a statement formally refusing to participate in consultations with the DRV, which had been called for by the Geneva Agreement to prepare for national elections . In Oct , the easily defeated Bao Dai in a seriously tainted referendum and became president of the new Republic of Vietnam.    Despite the growing likelyhood that national elections would not be held, the communist leadership in Hanoi decideed for the time being to continue to concentrate its efforts on the political struggle. Several factors led to this decision, including the weakness of the party apparatus in the south, the need to concentrate on strengthening the war-weakened North, and presure from the communist leadership of the South Union, which, under Gen.Secretary Nikita Khruschev, had inaugurated its policy of peaceful co-existence with the West. By 1957, however, a shift to a more militant approach to the reunification of the country was apparent . Partly in responsee to Diem's anti-communist campaign, the party stepped up terrorist activities, in the south, assassinating several hundred officials of the Diem Govt. This led the arrest of another 65,000 suspected communists and the killing of more than 2,000 by the Saigon Govt. In 1957.Repression by the Diem regime led to the rise of armed rebel self defense units in various parts of the south , with the units often operating on their own without any  party direction. Observing that a potential revolutionary situation had been created by popular resentment of the Diem govt. and learning that the govt's anti-communist policy would destroy or weaken party organisation in the south , the WWP leadership determined that the time had come to resort to violent struggle.