Nepal: Pushing and Shoving


August 8, 2007: The Maoist movement consists of about three dozen regional and political factions. Some are more radical than others, and since the ceasefire, the differences between the factions have become more obvious. The more radical factions are ignoring the ceasefire, and continuing to use terrorism and intimidation to get their way. More ominously, about three percent of the 31,000 armed Maoists, who are in government supported camps, have left the camps. The Maoist camp commanders insist those who left are actually on leave, which is authorized by the ceasefire. But those leaving say they are protesting poor treatment. In response to faction demands, the Maoist leadership is now threatening to pull out of the government unless Nepal is declared a republic before the November elections. The original peace deal stipulated that the status of the king was to be decided after the elections.

The government has begun negotiation with the ethnic separatists in the south. The Maoist leadership is not happy with how these ethnic rebels have defeated Maoists in the south. About a thousand civil servants have fled the violence in the south, and more have applied for transfers. In the east, tribal separatists have called for a permanent strike, and the formation of an autonomous state.

To avoid triggering more ethic, tribal and separatist violence, the army has not been called out to deal with any of the growing violence. But the police can't handle it, and the Maoists are threatening to leave their camps and take control of more territory. There are already growing numbers of Maoist activists forming unarmed, but violent, groups that seek control of more territory.


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