Nepal: October 4, 2002


The Maoist rebels are popular among young people in the countryside, where the traditional poverty and increasing awareness of the outside world have made people increasingly dissatisfied and eager for political and economic change. But there is also a strong conservative streak in the population, which is why there has not been a general uprising in support of the rebel cause. Meanwhile, the rebels can mobilize several thousand lightly armed fighters, but the army is rapidly increasing it's strength and training levels. The country has hundreds of thousands of military service in the British and Indian army (as the Gurkas) and these supply a source of military professionalism and conservative attitude. All this has also resulted in a military deadlock. 


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