Nepal's key parties agree to restart peace process
Leaders of Nepal's main political parties have agreed to reignite a stagnant peace process that ended years of insurgency in 2006, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The agreement calls for 6,500 former Maoist rebels, who have been living in camps since the end of the rebellion, to be integrated into the national army and used for noncombat duties such as construction and emergency response, the news service said.
The remaining former fighters would be offered a chance at rehabilitation that would include receiving the equivalent of $11,500 in cash to help jump-start their new lives. The parties also agreed to collaborate on writing a new constitution, the first draft of which is expected to be ready in month, the news agency reported.
The Maoists waged a decade-long armed revolt before joining the peace process five years ago, but it remained stalled largely because of disagreement over the fate of the former rebel fighters.
-- Ann M. Simmons in Los Angeles
Photo: Mohan Baidhya faction members of the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) shout antigovernment slogans last month outside Katmandu's international airport. Credit: Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters