The Pentagon Papers
Gravel Edition
Volume 1, Chapter 5, "Origins of the Insurgency in South Vietnam, 1954-1960"
(Boston: Beacon Press, 1971)


Section 2, pp. 270-82


MAJOR PROVISIONS OF THE 1954 GENEVA ACCORDS
Three Agreements on the Cessation of Hostilities for Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia

Provisions Vietnam Laos Cambodia

A. Disengagement, Partition, and Military Regroupment
     
Disengagement of combatants, including concentration of forces into provisional assembly areas (and provisional withdrawal of other party's forces from such areas in Vietnam)

To be completed 15 days after effective date of cease-fire in each area

Provisional assembly areas for French Union forces; perimeter of Hanoi, perimeter of Haiduong, perimeter of Haiphong

Provisional assembly areas for Vietnam People's Army: Quang Ngai-Binh Dinh perimeter (Central Vietnam), Xuyen-Moc, Ham Tan perimeter (South Vietnam), Plaine des Jones perimeter, and Cape Camau perimeter (both South Vietnam)
[Art. 15]

To be completed 15
days after effective date
of cease-fire (Aug. 22,
1954) [Art. 11]

Provisional assembly areas: 5 areas for reception Vietnamese People's Volunteer forces; 5 areas for reception French forces, 12 areas, one per province, for reception "fighting units Pathet Lao" [Art. 12]

No provision

Withdrawals of forces, supplies and equipment

French Union forces to withdraw from provisional assembly areas to regrouping zones south of demarcation line within 300 days (May 19, 1955), according to following schedule:
From Hanoi perimeter-80 days (October 11, 1954)
From Haiduong perimeter-100 days (November 1, 1954)
From Haiphong perimeter-300 days (May 19, 1955

People's Army of Vietnam to withdraw from provisional assembly areas to regrouping zone north of demarcation line within 300 days (May 19, 1955), according to following schedule:
From Xuyen-Moc, Ham Tan-80 days (October 11, 1954)
From Central Vietnam I-80 days (October 11, 1954)
From Plaine des Jones-100 days (November 1, 1954)
From Central Vietnam 11-100 days (November 1, 1954)
From Cape Camau-200 days (February 8, 1955)
From Central Vietnam 111-300 days (May 19, 1955) [Art. 15]

French forces to withdraw, except from bases at Seno and in MeKong Valley near or downstream from Vientiane, in 120 days (Nov. 20, 1954) [Art. 4, 12] Vietnames People's Volunteers, except those settled in Laos before hostilities (specia1 convention), to withdraw by provinces in 120 days (Nov. 20, 1954 [Art. 4, 13] French armed forces and military combatant personnel, combatant formations of all types which have entered Cambodia from other countries or regions, and non-native Cambodians holding supervisory functions in bodies connected with Vietnamese (DRV) activities in Cambodia to withdraw within 90 days (Oct. 21, 1954) [Art. 4]

Plans for movements into regrouping zones

To be communicated between the parties within 25 days August 17,
1954) [Art. 11]
No provision No provision

Provisional military demarcation line

Vicinity of 17° N latitude from the mouth of the Song Ben Hat (Cua Tung River) and the course of that river (known as the Rao Tkanh in the mountain) to the village of Bo Ho Su, then the parallel of Bo Ho Su to the Laos-Viet-Nam frontier
[Art. 1-4, Annex]
No provision No provision
Demilitarized zone On either side of demarcation line to width of not more than 5 kms. to act as a buffer zone [Art. 1] No provision No provision
Withdraw of all forces, supplies, and equipment from demilitarized zone To be completed within 25 days (August 14, 1954) [Art. 5] No provision No provision
Withdrawal for assembly or regrouping through territory of the other party Forces of the other party to withdraw provisionally 3 kms. on each side of route of withdrawal [Art. 12] No provision No provision
On-the-spot demobilization No provision Any military personnel of the fighting units of "Pathet Lao," who so wish, may be demobilized on the spot [Art. 14] Khmer Resistance Forces to be demobilized on the spot within 30 days (August 22, 19540 [Art. 5]
Concentration areas No provision

Pending political setllement, fighting units of "Pathet Lao" to move into provinces of Phong Saly and Sam-Neus and to move between these two provinces in defined corridor along Laos-Vietnam border.

Concentration to be completed within 120 days (Nov. 20, 1954) [Art. 14]

No provision
B. Civil Regroupment and Administration      
Movement across demarcation line or into demilitarized zones Prohibited except by specific permission of the Joint Commission; fully authorized for the Joint Commission, its organs, the International Supervisory Commission and its organs [Art. 6,7,9] No provision No provision
Civil administration and relief in demilitarized zones Responsibility of the Commanders in Chief of the two parties in their respective zones on either side of the demarcation line [Art. 14] No provision No provision
Civil and administrative measures pending general elections In each regrouping zone, a) civil administration to be in hands of party whose forces to be regrouped in that zone, b) civil administration in a territory to be transferred to continue in hands of present controlling force until the withdrawing troops have completely left, c) from July 25 through completion of troop regroupment (May 19, 1955) any civilians so desiring may be permitted and helped to move to other zone, d) from July 23 through completion of troop regroupment, any civilians so desiring may be permitted and helped to move to other zone [Art. 14] Each party to refrain from any reprisals or discrimination against persons or organizations for their activities during hostilities and to guarantee their democratic freedoms [Art. 15] No reprisals to be taken against any nationals or their familieis, each being entitled, without any discrimination, to all constitutional guarantees concerning protection of person and property and democratic freedoms [Art. 5, 6]
Liberation and repatriation of POW's and civilan internees All POW's and civilian internees (latter term covering all persons who have been detained by reason of contributing in any way to the "political and armed struggle" between the parties) held by both sides after the cease-fire in each theater and to be surrendered to appropriate authorities of other party who shall assist them in proceeding to their country of origin, place of habitual residence, or zone of their choice [Art. 21] Same as for Vietnam, except that only foreign POW's captured by either party are to be surrendered to appropriate authorities of other party [Art. 16] Same as for Vietnam except that no time period is given, and that only foreign POW's captured are to be surrendered to appropriate authorities of other party [Art. 8]
C. Arms Control      
Introduction of troop reinforcements and additional military personnel, including instructors Prohibited from July 23, 1954, except for: rotation of units, admittance of individual personnel on a temporary duty basis, and return to Vietnam of individual personnel from leave or temporary duty abroad, which are allowed under defined and controlled conditions [Art. 16] Prohibited after proclamation of cease-fire, but French may leave maximum of 1,500 officers and NCO's to train Laotian National Army [Art. 6] Prohibited after date of cease-fire in Vietnam and until final political settlement in Vietnam, except for purpose of "effective defense of its territory" [Art. 7]
Introduction of all types of arms, munitions, and other war materiels, including aircraft

Prohibited from July 23, 1954, except for piece-for-piece replacement of war materiel, arms, munitions destroyed, damaged, worn out, or used up after cessation hostilities (exception does not apply to French Union forces north of demarcation during 300 day withdrawal period)

Admission of any materials on excepted basis to be under defined and controlled conditions [Art. 17]

Prohibited after July 23, except for specified quantities of arms in categories defined as neceesary for defense of Laos [Art. 9] Prohibited after date of cease-fire in Vietnam and until final political settlement in Vietnam, except for purpose of "effective defense of its territory" [Art. 7]
Specified points of entry for excepted personnel and replacement material

1) North of Line: Laokay, Langson, Tien-Yen, Haiphong, Vinh, Dong-Hoi, Muong-Sen

2) South of Line: Tourane, Quinhon, Nhatrang, Bangoi, Saigon, Cap St. Jacques, Tranchau [Art. 20]

Luang-Prabang, Xieng-Khouang, Vientiane, Seno, Pakse, Savannakhet, Tchepone [Art. 10] No provision
Establishment of new military bases in Vietnam and Laos and military bases of foreign powers in Vietnam, Laso, Cambodia Prohibited after July 23, 1954 throughout Vietnam [Art. 18, 19] Prohibited after July 23, except for 1) French base at Seno, 2) French base in Mekong Valley, either in Vientiane Province or downstream from Vietiane. Effectives in these two French bases may not exceed 3,500 men. Bases of foreign powers prohibited "so long as its security is not threatened" [Art. 7, 8] Military bases of foreign powers prohibited after July 23 "so long as its security is not threatened" [Art. 7]
Adherence to military alliances Prohibited for both sides from July 23, 1954 [Art. 19] No provision May not join agreements carrying the obligation to enter into military alliance "not in conformity with the principles of the Charter of the UN or with the principles of the agreement on the cessation of hostilities or, so long as its security is not threatened, to establish bases on Cambodian territory for the military forces of foreign powers" [Art. 7]
Use of zones to resume hostilities or to further aggressive policy Prohibited from July 23, 1954 [Art. 19] No provision No provision
D. International Supervision and Control      
Responsibility for ensuring observance and enforcement of terms and provisions of the agreements Rests with the French and People's Army Commanders [Art. 22] Rests with the parties [Art. 24] Rest with the parties {Art. 10]
International Control Commission To be composed of India, Canada, Poland, with India as chairman, and to be set up at time of cessation of hostilities "to ensure control and supervision." Headquarters not given [Art. 29, 34, 36] Same as for Vietnam: Headquarters, Vientiane [Art. 25] Same as for Vietnam: Headquarters, Phnom-Penh [Art. 12]
Fixed inspection teams (of International Control Commission) At Laokay, Langson, Tien-Yen, Haiphong, Vinh, Dong-Hoi, Muong-Sen, Tourane, Quinhon, Nhatrang, Bangoi, Saigon, Cap St Jacques, Tranchau [Art. 35] At Pakse, Seno, Tchepone, Vientiane, Xieng-Khouang, Phong-Saly, Sophao (Sam-Neua) [Art. 26] At Phnom Penh, Kompong-Cham, Kratie, Svay-Rieng, Kampot [Art. 12]
Mobile inspection teams (of International Control Commission) Zones of action: Regions bordering land and sea frontiers of Vietnam, demarcation lines between regrouping zones, and demilitarized zones [Art. 35] Zones of action: Land frontiers of Laos [Art. 26] Zones of action: Land and sea frontiers of Cambodia [Art. 12]
Joint Commission of the parties Established by the parties to facilitate execution of provisions concerning joint actions by the two parties (equal number of representatives of the commands of both parties) [Art. 33] Set up to facilitate implementation of the agreement (equal number of representatives of commands of parties concerned [Art. 28] Set up to facilitate implementation of the agreement (equal number of representatives of commands of parties concerned [Art. 14]
Joint Commission teams or groups To be set up by Joint Commission and governed by the parties [Art. 32] Formed by Joint Commission [Art. 28] Formed by Joint Commission [Art. 14]
International Control Commission recommendations 1) Adopted by majority, except when dealing with questions concerning violations, threats of violations, or problems which might lead to resumption of hostilities, in which cases unanmity applies; 2) Sent directly to the parties and Joint Commission is notified; 3) Recommendation concerning amendments and additions to provisions of the Agreement may be formulated with unanimous participation [Art. 40, 41] 1) Adopted by majority, except when dealing with questions concerning violations, threats of violations, or problems which might lead to resumption of hostilities, in which cases unanmity applies; 2) Sent directly to the parties and Joint Commission is notified; 3) Recommendation concerning amendments and additions to provisions of the Agreement may be formulated with unanimous participation [Art. 34, 35] 1) Adopted by majority, except when dealing with questions concerning violations, threats of violations, or problems which might lead to resumption of hostilities, in which cases unanmity applies; 2) Sent directly to the parties and Joint Commission is notified; 3) Recommendation concerning amendments and additions to provisions of the Agreement may be formulated with unanimous participation [Art. 19, 20]
Appeal to members of the Geneva Conference If one party refuses to put into effect a recommendation of the International Control Commission the parties concerned or the Commission itself shall infrom thee members of the Geneva Conference. If unanimity is not reached by the Commission in cases where it applies, a majority and one or more minority reports shall be submitted. The Commission shall inform members of the conference in all cases where its activity is being hindered. [Art. 43] If one party refuses to put into effect a recommendation of the International Control Commission the parties concerned or the Commission itself shall infrom thee members of the Geneva Conference. If unanimity is not reached by the Commission in cases where it applies, a majority and one or more minority reports shall be submitted. The Commission shall inform members of the conference in all cases where its activity is being hindered. [Art. 36] If one party refuses to put into effect a recommendation of the International Control Commission the parties concerned or the Commission itself shall infrom thee members of the Geneva Conference. If unanimity is not reached by the Commission in cases where it applies, a majority and one or more minority reports shall be submitted. Te Commission shall inform members of the conference in all cases where its activity is being hindered. [Art. 22]
E. Procedural Matters      
Parties and signatories to agreements For the Commander in Chief of the People's Army of Vietnam, Ta-Quang Buu, Vice-Minister of National Defense of the DRV; For the Commander in Chief of the French Union Forces in Indochina, Brig. Gen. Delteil [Art. 47] For the Commander in Chief of the fighting units of "Pathet Lao" and for the Commander in Chief of the People's Army of Vietnam, Ta-Quang Buu; For the Commander in Chief of the French Union Forces in Indochina, Brig. Gen. Delteil [Art. 41]

For the Commander of the units of the Khmer Resistance Forces and for the Commander in Chief of the Vietnamese (DRV) military units, Ta-Quang Buu; For the Commander in Chief of the Khmer National armed forces, General Nhiek Tioulong [Art. 33]

Entry into force of agreements Except as provided, 2400 hours, July 22, 1954 (Geneva time) [Art. 47] Except as provided, 2400 hours, July 22, 1954 (Geneva time) [Art. 40] 00 hours, July 23, 1954 (Geneva time) [Art. 33]
Effective date of cessation of hostilities

North Vietnam:0800 (local), July 27, 1954
Central Vietnam: 0800 (local), August 1, 1954
Southern Vietnam: 0800 (local), August 11, 1954 [Art. 11]

0800 (local), August 6, 1954 [Art. 40] 0800 (local), August 7, 1954 [Art. 2]

 

MAJOR PROVISIONS OF THE 1954 GENEVA ACCORDS

Conference Final Declaration (CFD)
and
Unilateral Declarations (UD)
(Laos, Cambodia, and France each made two unilateral declarations referring to the CFD)

Provisions Vietnam Laos Cambodia
Principles of political settlement Respect for "independence, unity, territorial integrity," and enjoyment of "fundamental freedoms guaranteed by democratic institutions established as a reult of free general elections by secret ballot" [CFD Art. 7] All citizens of Laos and Cambodia to be integrated without discrimination into the national community and to be guaranteed enjoyment of rights and freedoms provided by the constitution [UD Laos and Cambodia; CFD Art. 3] All citizens of Laos and Cambodia to be integrated without discrimination into the national community and to be guaranteed enjoyment of rights and freedoms provided by the constitution [UD Laos and Cambodia; CFD Art. 3]
Method of political settlement "General elections to be held in July 1956, under supervision of an international commission composed of representatives of the Member States of the International Supervisory Commission referred to in the agreement on cessation of hostilities. Consultations will be held on this subject between the competent, representative authorities of the two zones from 20 July 1955 onwards." [CFD Art. 7] All Laotian and Cambodian citizens to participate freely as electors or candidates in general elections by secret ballot; in conformity with the constitution, next general elections to take place in the course of 1955 by secret ballot and in conditions of respect for fundamental freedoms [UD Laos and Cambodia Art. 3] All Laotian and Cambodian citizens to participate freely as electors or candidates in general elections by secret ballot; in conformity with the constitution, next general elections to take place in the course of 1955 by secret ballot and in conditions of respect for fundamental freedoms [UD Laos and Cambodia Art. 3]
Reprisals against persons who have collaborated with one of parties during war, or their families Must not be permitted [CFD Art. 9] Must not be permitted [CFD Art. 9] Must not be permitted [CFD Art. 9]
Protection of individuals and property Provisions of agreements on cessation hostilities must be strictly applied [CFD Art. 8] Provisions of agreements on cessation hostilities must be strictly applied [CFD Art. 8] Provisions of agreements on cessation hostilities must be strictly applied [CFD Art. 8]
Free choice of zone of residence Everyone must be allowed to decide freely in which zone he wishes to live [CFD Art. 8] No provision No provision
Principle of relations with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia The French Government and each memeber of the Geneva Conference undertakes to respect the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and to refrain from any interference in their internal affaris [UD France; CFD Art. 11, 12] The French Government and each memeber of the Geneva Conference undertakes to respect the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and to refrain from any interference in their internal affaris [UD France; CFD Art. 11, 12] The French Government and each memeber of the Geneva Conference undertakes to respect the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and to refrain from any interference in their internal affaris [UD France; CFD Art. 11, 12]
Special representation for dissident elements No provision Government of Laos will promulgate measures to provide for special representation, in the Royal Administration of Phong-Saly and Sam-Neua Provinces during interval between cesation hostilities and general elections, of the interests of Laotian Nationals who did not support royal forces during hostilities [UD Laos] No provision
Introduction of arms and force, adherence to military alliances, or establishment of foreign bases Clauses in Agreement on Cessation of Hostitlities Vietnam noted [CFD Art. 4, 5] Government of Laos will not join in any agreement with other states if it includes the obligation to participate in a military alliance not in conformity with the principles of the UN Charter or with the principles of the agreement on the cessation of hostilities or, unless its security is threatened, the obligation to establish bases on Laotian territory for military forces of foreign powers [UD Laos; CFD Art. 4, 5] "The Royal Government of Cambodia will not join in any agreement with other States, if this agreement carries for Cambodia the obligation to enter a military alliance not in conformity with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, or, as long as its security is not threatened, the obligation to establish bases on Cambodian territory for the military forces of foreign powers" [UD Cambodia; CFD Art. 4, 5]
Use of territory to further aggression Clauses in Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities in Vietnam noted [CFD Art. 5] The Government of Laos undertook "never to permit the territory of Laos to be used in furtherance of a policy of aggression." [UD Laos] The Government of Cambodia "resolved never to take part in an aggressive policy and never to permit the territory of Cambodia to be utilized in service of such a policy." [UD Cambodia]

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Glossary of Acronyms and Terms


Go to Volume 1, Chapter 1 of the Pentagon Papers, "Background to the Conflict, 1940-1950." pp. 1-52

Go to Volume 1, Chapter 2 of the Pentagon Papers, "U.S. Involvement in the Franco-Viet Minh War, 1950-1954," pp. 53-107

Go to Volume 1, Chapter 3 of the Pentagon Papers, "The Geneva Conference, May-July, 1954," pp. 108-178.

Go to Volume 1, Chapter 4 of the Pentagon Papers, "U.S. and France in Indochina, 1950-56," pp. 179-241

Go to Volume 1, Chapter 5 of the Pentagon Papers, "Origins of the Insurgency in South Vietnam, 1954-1960," pp. 242-314

Go to Volume 2, Chapter 1 of the Pentagon Papers, "The Kennedy Commitments and Programs, 1961,"pp. 1-127

Go to Volume 2, Chapter 2 of the Pentagon Papers, "The Strategic Hamlet Program, 1961-1963," pp. 128-159.

Go to Volume 2, Chapter 3, of the Pentagon Papers, "Phased Withdrawal of U.S. Forces, 1962-1964," pp. 160-200.

Go to Volume 2, Chapter 4, of the Pentagon Papers, "The Overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem, May-November, 1963," pp. 201-276.

Go to Volume 2, Chapter 5 of the Pentagon Papers, "US-GVN Relations, 1964-1967," pp. 277-407.

Go to Volume 2, Chapter 6 of the Pentagon Papers, "The Advisory Build-up, 1961-67," pp. 408-514

Go to Volume 2, Chapter 7 of the Pentagon Papers, "Re-Emphasis on Pacification: 1965-1967," pp. 515-623.

Go to Volume 3, Chapter 1 of the Pentagon Papers, "U.S. Programs in South Vietnam, Nov. 1963-Apr. 1965," pp. 1-105.

Go to Volume 3, Chapter 2 of the Pentagon Papers, "Military Pressures Against North Vietnam, February 1964-January 1965," pp. 106-268.

Go to Volume 3, Chapter 3, of the Pentagon Papers, "The Air War in North Vietnam: Rolling Thunder Begins, February-June, 1965," pp. 269-388

Go to Volume 3, Chapter 4, of the Pentagon Papers, "American Troops Enter the Ground War, March-July 1965," pp. 389-485

Go to Volume 4, Chapter 1, of the Pentagon Papers, "The Air War in North Vietnam, 1965-1968," pp. 1-276.

Go to Volume 4, Chapter 2, of the Pentagon Papers, "U.S. Ground Strategy and Force Deployments, 1965-1968," pp. 277-604.


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