The fragile cease-fire declared on May 3, 1961 did not prevent the Pathet Lao from capturing Xépôn, an important crossroads on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, or put an end to the fighting in the Hmong country. By June 1961 an international crisis developed over the North Vietnamese-Pathet Lao cease-fire violations at the besieged Hmong outpost of Padong. The Hmong abandoned Padong in early June and established a new base at Long Chieng.
Meanwhile, rogue General Phoumi, leading the further demonstrated his intransigence by building up his forces at Nam Tha, a town in northwestern Laos without strategic importance, thereby inviting attack. When the North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao attacked, camouflaging their violation of the cease-fire with the usual propaganda about mutinies in the opposing ranks, the defenders fled toward the Mekong, leaving most of their weapons behind. Phoumi may have hoped the debacle would precipitate Thai or United States armed intervention, but it did not. In the end, he agreed to the coalition. The 1962 Declaration on the Neutrality of Laos in Geneva, signed by fourteen nations including North Vietnam and the United States, halted the Laotian civil war, but only temporarily.