Canada's peace-keeping role in South Vietnam formally ended yesterday (Tuesday, 31 July) when its 275-member truce observer contingent left for home.
Canada's peace-keeping role in South Vietnam formally ended yesterday (Tuesday, 31 July) when its 275-member truce observer contingent left for home. Their departure marked the end of six months effort by the Canadians to help keep the peace in South Vietnam as a member of the International Control Commission.
The ceremony at Saigon's Tan Son Nhut Airport was quiet and simple. The Canadian contingent boarded buses which took them to two military ??? 707's. And after a brief, but emotional farewell, the men lined up for a final inspection.
Canada's withdrawal from South Vietnam now means the ICCS must stop active ceasefire-monitoring duties until a replacement is found to join the three other members -- Hungary, Poland and Indonesia.
The Canadian team withdrew from the four-nation peace-keeping commission because it felt the ceasefire was not being implemented in accordance with the Faris agreement, signed in January of this year. It blamed both North and South Vietnam for the continued fighting which is still going on unchecked across the countryside.
But despite such differences, and within one hour of the departure of the Canadian contingent, the governments of Saigon and Ottawa announced jointly they would exchange ambassadors for the first time. Similar negotiations are being ??? with North Vietnam.