US ready to provide ‘limited support’ for combatant rehabilitation
The United States has said it is ready to provide” limited support for some aspects of rehabilitation” of the Maoist combatants provided Nepal’s political leadership shows readiness to take the peace process forward.
Robert O. Blake
“When Nepal’s political leadership demonstrates its readiness to move forward on the final elements of the peace process, we stand ready to provide limited support for some aspects of rehabilitation such as vocational training or to help ease the transition of these young Nepalis back into civilian life,” Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert O Blake, said in a testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.
The Assistant Secretary said that with the formation of the new coalition government, the USA looked forward to a re-energised commitment from all parties towards finalising the rest of the peace process, especially the integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants along lines agreed to by consensus among the parties.
Blake further said despite its halting pace, the peace process nonetheless remains intact, and there is no imminent threat of a return to armed violence. Continue reading
by Mohan Nepali for Public Journalism
January 18, 2011
Re-affirming that Nepal’s power-mongering politicians have long been accepting Indian political intervention in the country, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has arrived in Kathmandu with a clearly stated purpose of representing the Indian role in forming a government in Nepal.
India has apparently sent her to make sure the Indian role would redouble in Nepal after the exit of the UN Mission to Nepal (UNMIN) from Nepal’s peace process monitoring and reporting role three days ago.
The visit is reported to have been concerned with quarrels among Nepali political parties and their intra-party feuds. Continue reading
Indian President Manmohan Singh and UCPN(Maoist) Chairman Dahal meet in Delhi to resolve differences
(IANS) With India assuming a seat on the UN Security Council after 19 years, Nepal’s opposition Maoist party will have to do some quick rethink of its old strategy of projecting the southern neighbour as its arch enemy.
As the former guerrillas ready for a fresh round of deliberations at their central committee meeting starting today, the voice of reason is urging the party leadership to go back on the threat Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda made at the recently concluded plenum, calling for a war on India.
The former rebels have been banking heavily on the UN for legitimacy as a political party after staging an armed insurrection for 10 years from 1996. While signing a peace agreement with the major political parties in 2006, the Maoists insisted on the UN being part of the peace process, and from 2007 the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) began to monitor their People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
After the parties and the Maoists failed to work together to disband the PLA and rehabilitate its nearly 20,000 guerrillas within six months of signing the peace agreement, the UNMIN was given several extensions by the UN Security Council. However, in September this year, the Security Council announced it would give one last extension to the UNMIN, after which it would begin to pull out from Nepal from January 15, 2011. Continue reading
Nepal Could Lose Out on Foreign Aid Due to Political Impasse
Kathmandu – The international donor community has warned Nepal it will withdraw aid if the political situation does not improve.
A statement issued late Tuesday by the US government’s main aid organization US Agency for International Development on behalf of the international donor community said that there was concern over the “negative development impact stemming from the slow progress in forming a new government, implementing the peace process, and writing the new constitution.” Parliament has failed 16 times attempts to elect a prime minister. “The slow pace in implementing the peace process, combined with the continued caretaker status of the government, lack of development leadership, significantly reduces most donors’ ability to secure future resources for Nepal,” the statement said.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and largely depends on foreign aid for its development. The country has been under a caretaker government since June when the prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned under Maoist pressure. A Maoist insurgency from 1996 to 2006 killed over 16,600 people. The absence of a government delayed the announcement of a full budget, affecting the administration as well as development. Donors said the announcement of a budget last week, using a special ordinance, had provided some relief but urged the completion of the peace process.
It also called on the country to “effectively deal with the other ongoing issues constraining Nepal’s development” in order to create an environment in which foreign assistance can most effectively be implemented. The statement was issued by USAID on behalf of organizations including the Asian Development Bank, a group of donor communities representing Western nations and the World Bank.