Alliance for Social Dialogue

:: Nepal in Transition Monthly Updates Command of Maoist combatants handed over to Nepal Army (April 8-14)
Sunday, 15 April 2012 10:07

Command of Maoist combatants handed over to Nepal Army (April 8-14)

The meeting of the Army Integration Special Committee (AISC) decided on April 10 to bring the Maoist combatants, weapons and containers used to store them, cantonments and properties therein under the Nepal Army. Before handing over the cantonments to the Nepal Army and beginning the regrouping process for integration, AISC decided to retain its earlier decision to offer of voluntary retirement or rehabilitation package to the combatants who choose to do so.

In addition, in consultation with coordinator of AISC secretariat Balananda Sharma, it was agreed to issue a code of conduct for the combatants by the government. The secretariat had taken decision immediately after an agreement on integration was reached between UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, UML, and United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF). The top leaders of main political parties were also invited to the meeting of AISC.

Immediately after AISC took the decision, prime minister Baburam Bhattarai directed Chief of Army Staff Chhatra Man Singh Gurung to implement the decision. The Army assumed the ‘chain of command’ of the combatants of the cantonments from the same onward. After the agreement was reached between the parties, AISC formed a taskforce to seek consensus on the technical aspects of integration; Barsha Man Pun, Bhim Rawal, Minendra Rijal, and Jitendra Dev were the members of the taskforce. After the taskforce accomplished its task, another seven-point agreement was reached between UCPN (M), Congress, UML, and UDMF.

The present seven-point agreement states that a separate directorate will be established for integration of Maoist combatants as per the seven-point agreement of November 1, 2011, and final structure of the directorate and leadership structure will be decided after the number of the number of combatants for integration is fixed. According to the latter agreement, for selecting the combatants for officers’ posts, a selection committee headed by the chairperson of the Public Service Commission or a member of the Commission deputed by the chairperson, and for other ranks, a selection committee headed by a second-class gazetted officer from the military service will be formed. It was also agreed that AISC would provide trainings to the selection committees before the selection process begins. The parties also agreed that the duration of the trainings would be nine and seven months respectively for officers and other ranks respectively and there would be special three-month additional training for each rank.

After finding consensus on the issues of the peace process, the political parties stated the environment for constitution-drafting has been created and have expressed commitment to focus on such. The parties have also decided to amend the Interim Constitution to shorten the process of endorsing bills of the constitution.

Major Developments

April 8

Nepali Congress holds a mass rally in the capital. Pressure on peace and constitution. Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel states the country cannot be split in the name of federalism.
Meeting of UCPN (M), Congress, and UML agrees to return the draft laws related to the commissions for truth and reconciliation and for the disappeared for not being as per the agreement reached among the political parties.
Meeting of UCPN (M) standing committee without participation of vice-chairperson Mohan Vaidya. The meeting is also attended by Maoist commanders. Stress on combatants representation in the directorate to be formed for integration. Agreement to show flexibility for integration. Regrouping work is obstructed in several cantonments for integration modality not being clear. Commanders in the capital.
Prime minister Baburam Bhattarai and UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal hold discussions with combatants, ask for support in integration.
Discussion between UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal and deputy prime minister and defence minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhedar. The defence minister states the decision of AISC as per the agreement for the political parties will be acceptable for the Army.
Meeting of AISC. Congress and UML leaders express doubt on whether the cantonments will be vacated by April 12. Prime minister Baburam Bhattarai expresses commitment to do so.
Fights erupt between combatants in the Lekhparsa, Surkhet, cantonment of the Maoist sixth division army.

April 9

All party meeting agrees to shorten the process to endorse bills on the constitution. The Interim Constitution will be amended.
Discussion between prime minister Baburam Bhattarai and CA chairperson Subash Nemwang on amending the constitution.
Meeting of senior UCPN (M) leaders and Maoist commanders in the capital agrees to release those combatants choosing voluntary retirement.
Meeting between prime minister Baburam Bhattarai and UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal to discuss army integration.
Prime minister appoints acting chairperson of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Ganatantrik) Raj Kishor Yadav as the Minister for Information and Communications and Akwal Ahmed Shah as Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Rastriya Janamorcha calls Bagmati banda against federalism. Normal activity continues.
UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Doti states the responsibility for peace process and constitution-drafting is upon his shoulders.
President Ram Baran Yadav in Kapilvastu asks leaders to conclude the peace process quickly and start constitution-drafting.
Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Nepal) holds a press conference in Janakpur. Announces pressure moment for constitution with federalism and demands resignation of prime minister Baburam Bhattarai.
Meeting between Congress and UML. Discussion on the technical aspects of army integration. Congress and UML members in AISC meet prime minister Baburam Bhattarai and ask him to call a meeting of AISC immediately.

April 10

Meeting of UCPN (M), Congress, UML, and Madhesi Front. Agreement to conclude peace process and focus on constitution-drafting. UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal states the peace process will be concluded by April 12 and then the focus will be on constitution-drafting.
Meeting of AISC decides to hand over the cantonments, arms, and combatants to the Nepal Army.
Meeting between prime minister Baburam Bhattarai and the Chief of Army Staff Chhatra Man Singh Gurung. Prime minister Bhattarai gives instructions to implement AISC decision. Nepal Army enters the cantonments. Dissatisfied combatants set fire to some vehicles.
UCPN (M) vice-chairperson Mohan Vaidya faction holds a meeting. Vice-chairperson Mohan Vaidya and general secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa in a joint press release state the act of handing over arms to the Nepal Army as the ultimate capitulation and betrayal of Nepali revolution.
President Ram Baran Yadav in Janakpur asks everyone not be assured of constitution as the peace process has gained momentum.

April 11

UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal meets journalists at his residence. He states the focus now will be on constitution-drafting as the peace process is nearing the end.
The process of handing over arms kept in the containers in the cantonments continues.
Meeting of AISC along with party leaders. A taskforce of Barsha Man Pun, Minendra Rijal, Bhim Rawal, and Jitendra Dev is formed to seek consensus on the technical aspects of integration. The meeting concludes the integration process as being positive.
UCPN (M) vice-chairperson Mohan Vaidya faction takes out a torch rally in the capital against the decision to hand over arms and combatants to the Nepal Army. The police intervene. Chakkajam in many places in the morning.
Congress president Sushil Koirala claims a Congress-led government will be formed before May 27.

April 12

Prime minister Baburam Bhattarai asks the parties to focus on constitution-drafting and national consensus government in his address to the country.
The taskforce on integration decides to make additional preparations.
Meeting of UCPN (M) standing committee attended by establishment faction decides not to punish vice-chairperson Mohan Vaidya for his anarchic activities. Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal informs the meeting on the progress in peace process.
CA chairperson Subash Nemwang in his talks with journalists expresses his confidence that disputed issues will be resolved by April 17.
United National People’s Struggle Committee announces further protest programmes to pressure for peace and people’s constitution.

April 13

President Ram Baran Yadav in Okhaldhunga states that he will not promulgate a constitution that will divide the country.
UML senior leaders meet journalists. UML chairperson Jhala Nath Khanal states that consensus on constitution will be sought through give-and-take.
Meeting between UCPN (M) chairperson and Maoist combatants. The combatants state the situation has become normal after the Nepal Army took over control.
Meeting of United Democratic Madhesi Front decides focus on constitution-drafting as peace process has progressed.
UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal states ‘UCPN (M) handed over the control of the cantonments after they became the target themselves’.

April 14

UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal and prime minister Baburam Bhattarai hold discussion with Maoist commanders. Commanders suggest taking the integration process forward after completing the peace process.
Meeting of top leaders. AISC meeting. Agreement on technical aspects of integration.
Congress president Sushil Koirala states the basis for constitution-drafting is ready.
Meeting of UCPN (M) and Madhesi Front decides to work together for constitution-drafting.