January 11

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Jan 11, 1956:

Diem issues Ordinance No. 6

South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem issues Ordinance No. 6, allowing the internment of former Viet Minh members and others "considered as dangerous to national defense and common security."

The Viet Minh was a largely communist organization that overthrew French colonial rule in Vietnam and assumed control of the government in North Vietnam in October 1954. Diem's internment of former Viet Minh members was an attempt to consolidate his control of South Vietnam. He had already subdued opposition from various religious sects and had launched a drive against Viet Minh who remained in the South.

Although by the end of 1956, Diem had smashed 90 percent of the former Viet Minh insurgent agents in the Mekong Delta, his ruthless drive against all dissidents did little to enhance his popularity, and he lost many potential allies. He managed to stay in power until November 1963, when he was assassinated during a coup by South Vietnamese army generals.

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