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Historical Dictionary

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ADVISORY GROUP 100 (Đoàn 100)

Secret Vietnamese political and military delegation dispatched to the Lao regrouping provinces of Phongsaly and Samneua in mid-1954 to help rebuild the Pathet Lao. On 28 June 1954, as efforts to reach an agreement for ending the Indochina War intensified at Geneva, General Vo Nguyen Giap cabled Nguyen Khang, a Vietnamese Worker’s Party’s (VWP) Central Committee member and the head of the Party’s Affairs Committee for Western Laos (Ban Can Su Mien Tay), concerning the need to hold on secretly in Laos. Giap instructed Nguyen Khang that the VWP Central Committee had decided to separate the system of advisors from the volunteer army. This was the crucial first step in the Vietnamese communist decision to maintain a secret advisory presence in Laos. The troops left; hundreds of advisors stayed on. On 16 July 1954, less than five days before the Geneva Accords were signed, the Vietnamese High Command signed into being the special advisory group Doan 100 under the command of political commissar and General Chu Huy Man. The VWP instructed group 100 and the Party Affairs Committee to combine their forces in Phongsaly and Samneua to remake the Pathet Lao politically and militarily.

In Laos, more than in Cambodia or even in southern Vietnam, the VWP was going to stay on and they were developing a concrete strategy and transnational project to do so. This meant that the revolutionary struggle would now be carried out in peaceful, political terms and not via direct, armed violence. Group 100 was designed to help the Lao to organize the struggle and defense of the two provinces of Samneau and Phongsaly so that this area would become the revolutionary base for all of Laos. Group 100 also helped Vietnamese communists to build up a Pathet Lao solution capable of standing by their Vietnamese brethren politically, diplomatically, and militarily. See also ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FOR THE FRONTIER; BAO DAI SOLUTION; INDOCHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY; INDOCHINESE FEDERATION; KHMER ISSARAK; LAO ISSARA COMMITTEE FOR THE EAST; LAO RESISTANCE GOVERNMENT.