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Nepal’s peace process unique in nature: PM

  • 10th anniversary of signing of CPA
  • Urges stakeholders to lend support to statute implementation efforts

As the country marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended a decade-long insurgency and formally initiated the peace process, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has appealed to all stakeholders to lend support to implement the newly promulgated constitution and make the peace process a success.
On November 21, 2006, Nepal government and then CPN (Maoist) led by Dahal signed the CPA to end the decade-long armed conflict that left 16,000 dead, 1,400 disappeared, 20,000 tortured and estimated 80,000 people internally displaced.
The rebel party had agreed to put its “People’s Liberation Army” in temporary cantonments, while the state had agreed to confine its army within the barracks. Both the parties had agreed to respect human rights, set up a transitional justice mechanism to look into incidents of rights violation occurred during the conflict, state restructuring and election of a constituent assembly.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the International Peace Conference on Wednesday, Dahal highlighted the promulgation of the new constitution and integration of rebel soldiers into the national army as major achievements of the peace process. “I personally took the risk of arms management and army integration despite opposition from all quarters. This led to a split in the party, but the peace process moved forward,” he said.
Remembering the then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who signed the peace accord along with Dahal, the prime minister said: “It was Girija babu’s towering personality and command over his party that made the signing of the peace process possible.” Arguing that Nepal’s peace process is “unique in nature”, PM Dahal said it, however, failed to grab enough attention. “It is a success story. Had it happened in Europe or Latin America, it would have been acknowledged worldwide.”
Questions, however, questions continue to linger about parties’, especially the Maoist party, commitment to transitional justice and the peace process. Though a transitional justice mechanism was envisaged in the CPA, it took nine years for the parties to set up transitional justice commissions. An act related to transitional justice is stuck in Parliament.
Army integration was one of the major components of the peace process. Of the 19,602 verified Maoist fighters by the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), around 1,450 were integrated into the Nepal Army. A total of 4,002 persons were disqualified for being under-age or joining the Maoist army after the ceasefire began. These child soldiers are now up in arms accusing the Maoist party of robbing them of their childhood and education. 
Published: The Kathmandu Post 17-11-2016

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