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Historical Dictionary

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GENEVA ACCORDS, CAMBODIA (1954)

The Cambodian delegate to the Geneva Conference, General Nhiek Tioulong, almost derailed the signing of an accord when he insisted on the right of his country to maintain foreign military relations if it so desired. In a last-minute compromise, Article 7 contained a Cambodian declaration ruling out foreign military alliances or bases. Determined to reach an agreement, the communist side went ahead and signed an armistice agreement for Vietnam in the early hours of 21 July 1954. Nhiek Tioulong signed a cease-fire agreement with Ta Quang Buu later in the afternoon. Two days later, on 23 July, in accordance with the Agreement on the cessation of hostilities, a cease-fire came into effect in Cambodia at 8H00 Beijing time. This agreement required the French to pull out all union forces and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) to withdraw its armed units. In addition, Khmer Issarak and Cambodian communist allies of the DRV had to withdraw to northern Vietnam or lay down their arms in favor of those of the Associated State of Cambodia’s army. The military clauses of the Geneva accords on Cambodia were largely completed by the end of 1954. Between 12 and 18 October, some 2,400 DRV troops and 1,000 Khmer Issarak withdrew to northern Vietnam thanks to the help of the International Commission for Supervision and Control. See also NEUTRALIZATION OF INDOCHINA.