The departure of the Canadian contingent of the International Commission of Control (ICCS) from Saigon on Monday (July 31st) halted operations of the four-nation peace-keeping force.
The departure of the Canadian contingent of the International Commission of Control (ICCS) from Saigon on Monday (July 31st) halted operations of the four-nation peace-keeping force. A renewal of activities will await agreement on a national force to replace the Canadians.
Canada ended 19 years of participation in Indo-china peace keeping operations, going back to France's withdrawal, when its 244 officers and men boarded two Royal Canadian Air Force Boeing 707s for the flight back to Vancouver.
Representatives of the three other ceasefire delegations -- Hungary, Indonesia and Poland -- and a crowd of Vietnamese who had worked with the Canadians cheered them on their way. There were no communist representatives at the brief ceremonies at Saigon's Tan Son Nhut Airbase.
During six months of participation in the ICCS following the present ceasefire, one Canadian was killed and two held prisoner by the Viet Cong. Canada's active ICCS role, which enabled it to dominate the peace body form the outset, brought both praise and severe criticism, principally due to its efforts to compel strict adherence to the ceasefire agreement. Canada withdraw its forces after complaining repeatedly of violations by both sides.
The Canadian withdrawal stalled activities of the ICCS, and efforts immediately began to find a successor. It has been reported that Iran is the leading candidate. Other countries which reportedly have been approached but declined were Japan, Malaysia, and Brazil. Iran is said to have the money and the men, and to view participation in the ICCS as enhancing its international stature.