Nepal’s Former Rebels Turn Over Weapons

Posted September 1st, 2011 at 12:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Nepal's former rebels have agreed to give their weapons cache to a special committee operating under new Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.

Some 3,400 Maoist rebel weapons are reported to be in storage in seven sites left over from the separatist war that ended in 2006. The former rebels, who now occupy the most seats in Nepal's parliament, agreed to hand over the weapons after the election of the new, Maoist prime minister on Sunday.

The U.S. embassy in Kathmandu says the move “signals the commitment of the Maoists to continue moving forward” to complete the peace process.

Nepal's Maoists were allowed to rejoin the government after a 2006 peace deal ended their decade-long insurgency that claimed more than 13,000 lives.

The peace process has since been stalled by deep differences among the country's political parties. The parties disagree over the shape of the new constitution and the fate of about 19,000 former Maoist fighters who are living in camps.