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Nepal tension

The dire state of the stagnating Nepali peace process provoked a visit from straight-talking UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe.
In Kathmandu on 11 March, Pascoe pointed out that 50% of countries return to war within 10 years of a peace agreement being signed. Pascoe highlighted the question of “the future of the two armies”: the largely-unreformed royalist army, and the 19,600 Maoist guerrillas still living in UN-monitored camps “that were intended to last only a few months”.
Pascoe criticised the fact that there was “no agreed strategy for what to do about this”. “The effective integration and rehabilitation of former combatants is one of the most important factors distinguishing those countries that successfully navigate these transitions to peace,” he said.
“Former combatants need to be afforded a real stake in the economic, political and institutional life of the country.”
Meanwhile, a little-known Hindu fundamentalist group Bhisma Ekata Parishad shut down parts of the far-west as part of their campaign for a Hindu kingdom.
On 22 March, they burned two buses and a motorcycle for travelling during the “bandh” or general strike.
The same day, a visiting leader from India’s Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janata Party, former BJP president Rajnath Singh, said he looked forward to the return of a Hindu state in Nepal.

Topics: Nepal