Nepal Maoists hand over weapons to Special team

Last Updated: Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 23:54

Kathmandu: The Maoist party in Nepal on Thursday
handed over the keys of its armed wing`s arsenal to a
Special Committee, a significant move that is expected to
boost the vexed peace process.

The keys of the arms containers of the former Maoist
combatants have been handed over to the Special Committee
representatives at the Third Division of the PLA in Shaktikhor
camp in Chitwan district as per the decision made by the party
yesterday.

Some 19,200 PLA fighters have been confined in seven
cantonments and 21 sub-camps across the country with more than
3,400 weapons following the Compressive Peace Accord reached
in 2006.

The Special Committee is entrusted with supervision
integration and rehabilitation the Maoists` Peoples Liberation
Army (PLA).

According to Govinda Bahadur Batala, Brigade Commander of
the division, two members of the PLA of the Maoist-Division
Commander Udaya Bahadur Chalaune `Deepak` and Division
spokesperson Janak Bista `Kuber` handed over the keys of the
PLA`s weapon containers in Chitawan at a function.

The remaining keys of other cantonments will also be
handed over to the Special Committee soon, the sources said.

Before the prime ministerial elections, the Maoist party
had introduced a plan for the peace process if they would get
to lead the new government.

One of the key sticking points in the peace plan has been
the proposed integration of 19,000 former Maoist rebel
fighters into the army, with military leaders and the Nepali
Congress resisting the move.

The United States has welcomed the UCPN (Maoist) decision
to hand over the keys of the arms containers to the Special
Committee.

In a statement, the US embassy here termed the Maoist
decision a "promising step" and hoped that it reflected the
Maoists` commitment to continue moving forward to complete the
peace process.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 23:54

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