Ngo Dinh Diem

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Ngô Đình Diệm (Vietnamese: Ngô Đình Diệm, pronounced [ŋo ɗîɲ zjə̂ˀm], Saigon: [ɗîn jə̃ˀm]  ( listen)), (January 3, 1901 – November 2, 1963) was the first President of South Vietnam (1955–1963). In the wake of the French withdrawal from Indochina as a result of the 1954 Geneva Accords, Diệm led the effort to create the Republic of Vietnam. Accruing considerable US support due to his staunch anti-Communism, he achieved victory in a 1955 plebiscite that was widely considered fraudulent. Proclaiming himself the Republic's first President, he demonstrated considerable political skill in the consolidation of his power, and his rule proved authoritarian, elitist, nepotistic, and corrupt. A Roman Catholic, Diệm pursued policies that rankled and oppressed the Republic's Montagnard natives and its Buddhist majority. Amid religious protests that garnered worldwide attention, Diệm lost the backing of his US patrons and was assassinated by Nguyễn Văn Nhung, the aide of ARVN General Dương Văn Minh on November 2, 1963, during a coup d'état that deposed his government.

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