President Ngô Đình Diệm, backed by the US, refuses to allow elections to reunite the country as stipulated in Geneva Accords.

President Eisenhower later comments: “I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held as of the time of the fighting, a possible 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader.” See Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mandate for Change, 1953-56, The White House Years, A Personal Account (Garden City, NY: Doubleday 1994 (1963), p. 372).

March 22, 1956 The French command agrees to disband and on (see April 28)

April 28, 1956 The French High Command in Indochina is officially dissolved. The last French soldier withdraws Vietnam on this day. By pressuring France to leave, the U.S. plays a leading role in breaking the 1954 Geneva Accords.

Despite Washington’s promise to honor the Geneva Accords, an American Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) completely takes over the training of South Vietnamese forces in late April. This “advisory” force that will eventually number nearly a thousand troops by the end of the Eisenhower administration 1960).

In violation of the Geneva Accords, the killings begun in 1955 continue. The proxy army enters villages and summarily kills or arrests people implicated as anti-French, anti-U.S., or pro-communist. Many of those arrested are tortured and imprisoned. Diệm, facing opposition across the south as America’s puppet, begins forcibly to displace peasants from their ancestral villages into government holding camps, or “strategic hamlets.” May 26 International Commission ((ICC) consisting of India, Poland, and Canada)) in Viet Nam informs the Vietnamese Government that entry of TERM (Temporary Equipment Recovery Mission) personnel into Viet-Nam should be delayed, so that the Commission may complete consideration of the matter prior to their arrival.

June 1, 1956 Without the final approval of the International Control commission (ICC), the Temporary Equipment Recovery Mission (TERM) is established by the US with a strength of 350 men. TERM’s primary task is to locate, catalog, ship out, and rebuild excess U.S. Military equipment. In addition, the TERM mission is to assist the Vietnamese in training their armed forces, with a view to establishing their own workable logistical support system. Although the activity was subordinate to the MAAG (Military Assistance Advisory Group) chief in Vietnam, it was not a part of the Military Assistance Advisory Group.

August 21, 1956 The illegal proxy government enacts Ordinance Number 47, providing the death penalty for anyone acting on behalf of any organization designated as communist. This includes anyone formerly in the Viet Nam Independence League, whether a communist or not. In villages, people who do not denounce Ho Chi Minh, the DRVN flag, and the Communist Party are seen as acting on behalf of communists. Imprisonment is authorized for anyone who is a danger to the state.

October 26, 1956 President Ngô Đình Diệm announces a new Constitution for the illegal, proxy entity that calls itself Republic of (South) Vietnam.

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