Nepal crisis

News in Brief

The political deadlock in Nepal is now moving towards a military outcome as the peace process disintegrates. The Nepal army, which earlier halted the faltering process by refusing to integrate 19,000 Maoist guerrillas, as required by the 2006 comprehensive peace accord, began recruiting new non-Maoist soldiers on 2 August. The Maoist People’s Liberation Army responded the next day by announcing 12,000 vacancies.
The UN Mission to Nepal (UNMIN), due to disband in September, responded: “any recruitment by either the Nepal army or the Maoist army constitutes a breach of the comprehensive peace agreement”. The Nepali army has lobbied against another extension of UNMIN’s mandate.
Nepal does not have a new constitution, which was supposed to have been agreed by 28 May. Neither does it have a government, as the main parties squabble and seek to avoid blame for the lack of political, social and economic progress.
Bizarrely, the ultra-republican Maoists have sought the support of royalist forces, who could deliver crucial votes in parliament.
As PN went to press, the smaller parties were trying to persuade both the Maoists and the Nepali Congress party to withdraw from the prime ministerial elections, and to form a national unity government.

Topics: Nepal