Maoists agree to timeline for PLA guerrillas` integration: UN

Nepal`s Maoists agreed to a three-month timeline to complete the integration process of its former guerrillas with the army.

Kathmandu: Nepal`s Maoists today agreed
to a three-month timeline to complete the integration process
of its former guerrillas with the army, but insisted that its
chief Prachanda must lead a national government in a bid to
push forward the stalled peace process.

The Maoist leadership has proposed a timeline for
integration and rehabilitation of their 19,000 combatants
confined in various UN monitored cantonments, said Karin
Landgren, chief of the United Nations Mission in Nepal
(UNMIN), who met Maoist vice chairman Baburam Bhattarai

The Maoists have said that they are ready to set
three-month timeline to complete the integration process and I
think it was positive, she told PTI today.

The Maoists were ready to complete the management of
their combatants before the UNMIN’s deadline expires, she

However, the Unified CPN-Maoist has failed to
determine the exact number of combatants to be integrated in
the Nepal Army in advance.

Around 4,000 were formally discharged this year after
UN scrutiny found they did not qualify as soldiers, and
several thousand more are thought to have drifted away from
the camps and returned home in the intervening years.

But more than 15,000 are estimated to remain and their
fate is a key stumbling block in the peace process.

Bhattarai said that they cannot agree to the demand of
the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, which are stressing on
determining the number of combatants to be integrated in the

The number can be fixed only after giving choice to
the combatants, he added.

The Maoist combatants will be offered various choices
such as jobs, skill development training, integration in the
security forces and rehabilitation to the society under the
management of the combatants.

Even as embattled Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal
agreed to step down as part of an eleventh-hour deal to extend
the term of the Constituent Assembly by one year on May 28,
the political parties remain deadlocked over the agreement.
Leaders of the three major political parties -- the
main Opposition CPN-Maoist, the Nepali Congress and the prime
minister`s Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist)
-- have repeatedly met but failed to reach an agreement end
the standoff.

The Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, the two largest
parties in the ruling 22-party coalition, have asked the Prime
Minister not to resign unless the Maoists agree to a six-point
agenda, including the integration of the PLA combatants and
the dissolution of their paramilitary structure of the Young
Communist League, the youth wing of the former rebels.

They also want the Maoists to return all properties
captured by them during the decade-long insurgency that came
to an end in 2006.

CPN-Maoist party, with nearly 40 percent of the
parliamentary seats, today underlined its demand for a
national government under its supremo Prachanda.

"But there should be no doubt that the party wants the
formation of a national consensus government under its
leadership and it will be led by our party chairman Pushpa
Kamal Dahal (Prachanda)," Narayan Kazi Shrestha, Maoist party
Vice-chairman, was quoted as saying in the media.

The Maoists, who waged a decade-long insurgency,
joined mainstream politics after a 2006 peace deal with the
interim government led by G. P. Koirala.

Political tensions have been high in Nepal since a
government led by the Maoists resigned last year amid a
dispute with the country`s President over the reinstatement of
former army chief Rukmangad Katawal, who was dismissed by the
Prachanda-led government last May.


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