A small (slightly larger than Arkansas), landlocked nation between India and Tibet, Nepal has long been a conservative
monarchy. But in early 1996, a Maoist faction of the local communist party
began an armed rebellion to overthrow the parliamentary monarchy and establish a "People's Republic". With about 5-7,000 fighters (not all
armed) and 20,000 active sympathizers, out of a population of 22 million,
the Maoists a growing threat to the government.