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Nepal crisis

On 22 May, a small “fire-cracker type” bomb detonated in front of the Nepali constituent assembly building in Kathmandu. No one was injured. According to police, an unexploded socket bomb was also found, along with leaflets from a previously-unknown group “Dynamic Youth Forum Nepal”, demanding the resignation of the present government and the creation of a national unity government. Meanwhile, Nepal remained in a state of political crisis, with the mandate of the deadlocked constituent assembly running out on 28 May, without producing even the bare bones of a constitution.

The government coalition and the Nepali security forces initiated the crisis in April by refusing to integrate 19,600 Maoist ex-guerrillas recognised by the UN into the armed forces, as required by the comprehensive peace accord of November 2006. (See PN 2521.) At the end of May, divisions were apparent in the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the largest party in the constituent assembly (CA), but currently in opposition. As we go to press, the Maoist leadership were deciding whether to follow the other parties into confrontation, the dissolution of the CA, a constitutional crisis, and, possibly, a return to civil war. Earlier in May, the leadership called off its “indefinite” national general strike after just six days.

Topics: Nepal