Nepal Maoists hand over weapons to Special team
Last Updated: Thursday, September 01, 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 01, 2011, 23:54


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