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Nepal crisis

The clock is ticking. Nepal’s fractious political parties only have until 28 May to restructure the Nepali state, write a new constitution, and integrate around 15,000 former Maoist guerrillas into the Nepali security forces. The army, which is very resistant, wants the police force to take many of them.
4,008 Maoist fighters have been ruled out of integration by the UN, either because they were children at the time of the May 2006 ceasefire or because they joined up after that date. Arguments rage inside Nepal over the nature of the new federal state demanded by disadvantaged ethnic minorities.
While the Maoists have been toning down their protests, other parties are raising the temperature. On 19 February, Khum Bahadur Khadka, a senior Nepali Congress leader, raised the possibility of taking up arms, and put forward a proposal for a paramilitary youth force to “fight” the Maoist Young Communist League.
Meanwhile, as PN went to press, the royalist National Democratic Party announced that it would be attempting a general strike in Kathmandu to demand a referendum on the reinstatement of the monarchy and the country’s status as a Hindu state.

Topics: Nepal