Nepal: Rebelling Against the Rebellion


July 4, 2007: So far this year, about 120 have died in political violence, and hundreds more injured. The two main sources of the violence are Maoist gangs, who use intimidation to maintain their power in rural areas, and ethnic Indians, who are the majority in many parts of the south, and who are agitating for more political representation in the new parliament. Some of the ethnic Indian political groups in the south are now demanding a separate state down there. This is causing more violence, by Nepalis opposed to partitioning of the country. The ceasefire is coming apart, not because of the Maoists and government troops, but because of all the new political factions that have appeared recently. Some of the factions are Maoist, and it is uncertain if these are truly independent, or just pretending to be. Royalist gangs may also be subsidized by royalist parties. But the dozens of tribal, ethnic and religious groups that have recently formed gangs are under no central control. More of these new organizations are obtaining weapons, and a new civil war is brewing.

July 3, 2007: The continued strike in the south has cut off fuel supplies to the capital, and the 2.5 million people living in that part of the Katmandu valley. Normally, about 180,000 gallons a day arrive (at least 18 tanker trucks), to supply the 350,000 vehicles in the region. The center for wealth and power in Nepal has long been the Katmandu valley. Half the country's population lives in the valley, but most goods, including fuel, must be trucked in from the south.

June 29, 2007: UN inspectors have ordered some 400 Maoists from the camps where fighters are supposed to be staying. Those expelled were either under 18 (and thus "child soldiers"), or were recently recruited (in violation of the peace agreement.)

June 28, 2007: A Moslem political organization insists that Moslems comprise ten percent of the population, and must be guaranteed ten percent of the seats in parliament.

June 22, 2007: Ethnic Indians in the south began a general strike, shutting down much activity in the area.


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