Nepal Parties Agree on Deal for Former Rebels

Posted November 2nd, 2011 at 3:35 pm (UTC-5)
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United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed an agreement by Nepal's rival political factions on resolving the issue of integrating thousands of former Maoist fighters into the national army.

In a statement through his spokesperson, Mr. Ban urged the country's political leaders to sustain the spirit of cooperation and quickly carry out their commitments. He said he was encouraged by the decision to establish transitional justice mechanisms that had been agreed upon in the Comprehensive Peace Accord.

Under the agreement some 6,500 of the 19,000 former Maoist rebels, who have been living in camps since the end of the conflict in 2006, will be integrated into the army. The rest will receive a pay-offs of up to $11,500 to start a new life.

The agreement was reached late Tuesday by Maoist party leader and former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and members of three other political parties.

The United States welcomed the landmark deal and encouraged Nepal's leaders to quickly work to implement its terms.

The lawmakers also agreed to work together to write a new constitution for the young republic, which abolished its monarchy in 2008. The first draft is due to be ready by the November 30 deadline.

The parliament, or Constituent Assembly, was supposed to finish the document in May 2010, but the deadline has been extended three times after lawmakers failed to reach a consensus.