The mountain tribesmen of south Vietnam, known as Montagnards, are playing their own role in the Vietnamisation of the war and pacification of the country which historically belongs to them.
People lined up with South Vietnam flags
MV/CU small girl smoking
Khiem arrives (two shots)
Montagnards lined up
Khiem inspects Montagnard troops and civilian cadres
CU Old man who serving as cadre
CU feet PAN up Montagnards
Flags raised in salute
Three Australian advisers receive bracelets
USAF Officers and Khiem drink wine
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The mountain tribesmen of south Vietnam, known as Montagnards, are playing their own role in the Vietnamisation of the war and pacification of the country which historically belongs to them.
At Pleiku in the Central Highlands on Tuesday, the South Vietnamese Prime Minister, Mr. Tran Thien Khiem, attended a colourful graduation ceremony at a special training centre for the tribesmen.
The Montagnards, who had lived in Vietnam for centuries before the arrival of the lighter-skinned people whose descendants dominate the country today, will carry out military operations against the Communists as well as social and development work.
Among those who instruct them in the art of warfare and three Australian military advisers, who were presented with Montagnard bracelets. Many Montagnards take part in special forces operations under the command of Americans and Australians.
After the graduation, Mr. Khiem and other guests took part in the traditional Montagnard wine-drinking ceremony.