01/09/2012, 00.00
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UN denies subsidy to 4 thousand former Maoist guerrillas. Protests across Nepal

by Kalpit Parajuli
The former combatants threaten a return to armed struggle. Clashes with the police and cars burned in the capital and the rest of the country. First mass protest since disarmament of the militias of the September 20, 2011.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Thousands of Maoist guerrillas took to the streets in recent days in the capital and major cities of the country in protest against the lack of subsidies promised by the government and UN. In Kathmandu, protesters set fire to dozens of cars, engaging in clashes with police. They are threatening to resume armed struggle if the UN will not grant funds to about 4 thousand ex-combatants who have been considered unsuitable. This is the first protest after the disarmament of militias, in September.

UN officials have denied permission for 4008 former guerrillas to leave the camps because they are considered unfit for reintegration into society. After pressure from the government, the UN has granted the fighters freedom. However, they can not enjoy the benefit of 6 thousand dollars a year determined at the time of disarmament. In recent days the government has promised them a training to help them enter the world of work and 500 per year as an incentive.

BK Raju, one of the guerrillas denied funding, says that the protest is not only against the UN, but also against the Maoist party in government who for months refused to resolve the situation. "If we are not heard - he says - we are ready to fight against our own party."

Dinanath Sharma, Minister of Education, justifies the governments position saying that the "government has the situation of former guerrillas in mind, but right now the majority of politicians are engaged in completing the peace process and writing the new constitution." "Focusing attention on them alone- he adds - would be a risk for the whole country."

For 11 years Nepal’s civil war pitted the army against the Maoist guerrillas, who fought with the aim to overthrow the kingdom and establish the People's Republic of Nepal. The conflict ended with the fall of the absolute 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. Because of the instability of the country and the political games of the Maoist party, which came to power in 2008, more than 19 thousand fighters have been trapped in the training camps, becoming a burden to society. Their disarmament was started September 20, 2011, after six years of negotiations between the military, UN and government.
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See also
Over 3 thousand former Maoist guerrillas join Nepalese Army
Kathmandu: Maoist guerrilla armies dissolved
MILF divided, Mindanao peace process at risk
UN secretary visits Nepal to support peace process
Amnesty deal between government and Maoists over war crimes angers Nepalis
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