09/08/2011, 00.00
NEPAL
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Nepal's Maoist guerrillas victims of political stalemate

by Kalpit Parajuli
Veterans frustrated by the Maoist party infighting. The threat to take up arms against their own leaders if the peace process fails. Maoist cadres accused of opposing disarmament of militias.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Tired of the struggle between politicians, the Maoist guerrillas are threatening to go against their own party if they are not reinstated in the army or society. These days the former fighters have taken on the extremist fringes of the Maoist party that are blocking the disarming of militias currently under way, to advance their personal interests.

To date, more than 19 thousand former combatants have been held in 28 detention camps since end of civil war. They live only thanks to state subsidies and can not get out of the camps to work.

Janak Bista, a Maoist spokesman for the camp in Chitwan, says he is shocked by the attitude of his own leaders and stressed that the guerrillas do not want to be slaves to the politicians. "In recent years we have become accustomed to opposition protests - he says - but it is scandalous that the leaders for whom we fought are now an obstacle to our future."

The disarmament of militias which started last September 1, is a milestone for the continuation of the peace process signed by the Nepalese government and the UN after the fall of the monarchy in 2006. However, many Maoist cadres are opposed to the decision that could weaken the party.

In recent years extremist Maoist have used the guerrillas to threaten governments and increase their power in parliament. According to analysts, the demand of integrating the guerrilla force in the army is nothing but a pretext to keep the confrontation with the opposition parties alive. A recent survey shows that over 60% of former combatants are not interested in a military career and would be willing to do any job as long as they have a salary.

"For five years we have been confined to camps without being able to do anything - says Pratap, a veteran of the civil war - we are fed up and disappointed with this situation." "If a solution is not found – he warns – we will take up arms against our leaders." According to him, the government must take on its responsibilities and conclude the peace process soon. The Maoist party should instead resign themselves to losing their support base.


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See also
Ex Maoist guerrillas slowing disarmament, destabilise government
05/09/2011
Maoist guerrillas violate agreement with United Nations
24/07/2007
Kathmandu, UN praises developments in peace process
28/11/2011
Maoists back in Nepali government
31/12/2007
Nepal: US aid delivery on track as Maoists disowned
29/08/2006


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