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Nepal peace process nears end; donors chip in

world Updated: Dec 16, 2012 14:48 IST
Utpal Parashar

Nepal’s efforts at getting a new constitution has remained stalled for many months now, but the peace process which too witnessed many obstacles is finally nearing conclusion.

On Saturday the special committee entrusted with rehabilitation and integration of former Maoist combatants closed its secretariat. Its task will now be taken over by a three-member coordination committee.

This committee will oversee the induction of over 1,400 former Peoples’ Liberation Army rebels into Nepal Army----a crucial part of completing the six-year-old peace process.

These former combatants will become part of a new directorate with a total strength of 4,000 plus and will be entrusted with tasks like forest security, infrastructure development and disaster management.

Since opting to join the army over cash incentives, 37 former rebels have expressed willingness to retire. Unlike their other former colleagues, these PLA personnel will not get any monetary benefits.

The others who stay and complete their training will become either officers or soldiers in the army they once fought against during the 1996-2006 civil war which claimed over 16,000 lives.

With positive developments in integration and rehabilitation, donors have also recently made more contributions to help bring the much delayed peace process to a logical conclusion.

Last week UK announced contribution of $5.7 million to support and consolidate peace in Nepal.

The amount will go to Nepal Peace Trust Fund to implement provisions of the 2006 peace accord, support grass-root peace initiatives, conflict affected communities and future elections.

Recently the US government too announced aid totalling $1,050,000 to Nepal’s ministry of peace and reconstruction as contribution to NPTF and Technical Cooperation Pool for Capacity Development.

“This effort further demonstrates our commitment to helping the people of Nepal realize the benefits of peace and promise of prosperity,” US ambassador to Nepal Peter W. Bodde said in a release.