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Nepal crisis

Not much change here. First, Nepalis fought a bitter civil war for 10 years. Then the liberals, the communists and the Maoist guerrillas made a historic peace deal in November 2006, and kicked out the monarchy in 2008.

Then they all spent the last six years not agreeing a new constitution, and breaking all the deadlines for completing the peace process and achieving a new democratic normality.

On 20 September, the liberals, the communists, the Maoist ex-guerrillas and an ethnic coalition from the lowlands (the United Democratic Madhesi Front – UDMF) all agreed that there should be fresh elections for a new constituent assembly, which could become a national parliament after securing a new constitution.

On 24 September, the liberals and the communists and 10 other opposition parties (not the UDMF) all agreed to focus their attention on trying to overthrow the ruling Maoist government.

A stumbling block throughout the last six years has been the fate of 19,600 Maoist ex-guerrillas, promised integration into the 105,000-strong Nepali army.

The political and military establishment has whittled that number down to a fraction of its original size. As we went to press, 1,402 ex-combatants had passed through the written and medical tests and were beginning oral examinations to be inducted into the national army.

A dissident Maoist faction is said to be organising disgruntled ex-guerrillas, possibly for a return to armed struggle.

Topics: Nepal