Nepal: Maoists Bending and Breaking the Peace Deal

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February24, 2007: Over 3,000 Maoists fighters have left their camps. The Maoists say they want to find work, to earn money for improving conditions in the camps. But the government gave the Maoist leadership money for running the camps, and accuses the Maoists of mishandling that money.

February 23, 2007: The ethnic violence in the south now includes Maoists (or "ex-Maoists" as the ceasefire has all official Maoist fighters in temporary camps). The ethnic Indians in the south have had several clashes with Maoists over control of roads (the ethnic Indians are setting up roadblocks.)

February 22, 2007: Maoist leaders are now promising redistribution of land (taking it from large landowners and giving it to those share cropping farmers with none.) This is an old communist trick. The small farmers will own their land only until the Maoists are in power, then all land will be taken over by the state, and organized into collective farms. But the "redistribution of land" pitch is often used to get the poor farmers to support putting the communists in power.

February 21, 2007: In the south, over 500 Maoists left their camp, citing poor food and living conditions.

February 19, 2007: The UN has completed registering the Maoist troops, and locking up their 3,428 weapons (which are guarded by the army and UN observers). The number of weapons is low, leading to suspicions that the Maoists have hidden most of their weapons. The 30,582 Maoist fighters are to be housed in 28 camps around the country, where they will be fed at government expense until after the June elections.

February 18, 2007: Thousands of Hindus held a demonstration in the capital, protesting against the decision to declare Nepal a secular state. Currently, the country is officially described as a Hindu state, the only one in the world. The Maoists have insisted on demoting religion, and Hindus threaten to resort to violence to oppose the change..

February 17, 2007: The Maoists now insist on getting control of some of the government ministries, or there won't be any elections in June. The 83 Maoist members of the interim parliament were not elected, but appointed, and few of them have any experience in democratic government. The Maoists are also insisting the monarchy be abolished right away.

 

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