11/22/2011, 00.00
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Kathmandu: Maoist guerrilla armies dissolved

by Kalpit Parajuli
Reintegration into society of more than 19 thousand ex-combatants started last November 19. It is the first significant step towards the peace process six years after the Civil War. Only 6500 guerrillas will be able to join the Army. For others training programs and an annual subsidy.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - More than 19 thousand Maoist guerrillas are bidding farewell to their old officers, and preparing to leave the camps and enter back into society, after six years of civil war. The grouping of ex-combatants started last November 19 at the Shaktikhor camp (Chitwan), one of seven, located about 220 km southwest of Kathmandu.

Over the next ten days each foot soldier will line up in ranks for the last time, handing in his coat and military equipment. Of 19 thousand paramilitaries, only 6500 will have the opportunity to join the army. For the rest the government and UN have organized formation programs to help them enter the world of work. In the meantime each will receive an annual subsidy of between 6 thousand and 8 thousand dollars. Only a small group of officers have rejected the proposal considering it unworthy and demand the absorption of all the paramilitaries into the army. The official disarmament of the Maoist militias occurred on 1 November, after years of negotiations between the Armed Forces, members of the party and government.

"This is the most critical moment of their lives - says former Maoist general Balananda Sharma involved in reintegration operations - we are trying to offer them a job based on the characteristics of each." According to former Maoist guerrilla, the matter of the former fighters is the most important aspect of the peace process and bringing them together is the first major step towards the country's stability.

The civil war in Nepal lasted for 11 years pitted the army against the Maoist guerrillas, who fought with the aim of overthrowing the kingdom and establishing the People's Republic of Nepal. The conflict ended with the fall of the Hindu monarchy which was followed by a comprehensive peace agreement between the army and the Maoists signed November 21, 2006 in front of UN and international community. The war resulted in more than 12,800 people dead and about 100 thousand refugees.

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Over 3 thousand former Maoist guerrillas join Nepalese Army
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UN secretary visits Nepal to support peace process
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Integration of Nepal’s Maoists begins amid protests
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Massive Maoist demonstration against government and police
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