Canada has virtually ended its part in the International ceasefire commission in Vietnam. Most of?
Canada has virtually ended its part in the International ceasefire commission in Vietnam. Most of its 245 truce officers were flown into Saigon from their observation posts across the country on Thursday (26 July) to allow he members a few days rest before flying home.
The Canadian withdrawal -- based on the Canadian conviction that the ceasefire commission was merely a toothless gesture, not able to supervise a real peace -- leaves only Hungarian, Polish and Indonesian officials in the countryside. The remaining members will not be able to properly carry out their monitoring duties until a replacement member country is found.
Canada was reluctant to join the commission from the first, because of its long and frustrating involvement in a similar body set up after the 1954 Geneva ceasefire accords in Vietnam. After urgent requests from the United States, Canada agreed to join, but only for a trial period, to see if the ceasefire was effective.
Canada's Foreign Affairs minister Mitchell Sharp announced the Canadian withdrawal soon after the end of the trial period, saying no further purpose would be served by Canadians continuing their role.
The Canadian members of the commission are spending their last few days in Saigon relaxing and shopping for souvenirs, as well as attending meetings to clear up outstanding reports before they leave.