Peace process under threat as Nepal set for army recruitment

Last Updated: Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 15:16

Kathmandu: Amid continuing political
deadlock in the country, the government is set to begin the
controversial recruitment to the Nepal Army, a move likely to
be opposed by the Maoists and may derail the already stalled
peace process.

Vidya Bhandari, Defense Minister in the 22-party
Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML)-led
alliance, said the government would resume recruitment to the
military this month.
She said fresh recruitment can be carried out so long
as the number remains within the 95,753 ceiling imposed by the

"I think we will resume recruitment within October,"
she was quoted as saying by the Kantipur online today.

"The government is currently engaged in an exercise to
resume recruitment. I have asked the Army to submit the number
of personnel needed and the departments where positions are
vacant," Bhandari said after meeting top military officials at
the Defence Ministry yesterday.

She underlined that the recruitment to vacant
positions within the ceiling does not violate the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the Maoists
and the Seven-Party Alliance government in 2006.

"We can’t keep the army at a standstill by referring
to clauses in the CPA," she said, adding "CPA has only
prohibited increase in the number of Army personnel above the
existing ceiling. If that’s a problem, we should review it."

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 15:16
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