Revolution in South Asia

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Nepal: Negotiations Over Integration of PLA into Nepal Army Move Ahead

Posted by Ka Frank on January 28, 2010

This article appeared in Nepal News on January 27, 2010

HLPM to decide number of Maoist combatants to be integrated in security forces

The Special Committee on Integration, Rehabilitation and Monitoring of the Maoist combatants has decided to delegate the High Level Political Mechanism (HLPM) to decide the number of Maoist combatants to be integrated in the security forces. Representative of various political parties in the committee agreed to abide by the HLPM’s decision during a meeting held Tuesday evening.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has proposed to integrate 5000 Maoist combatants in the security forces in his action plan. Nepali Congress has proposed to integrate 3500 to 4000 combatants, while the Unified CPN (Maoist) has demanded for integration of 7000 combatants in the security forces with 5000 of them in army.

The meeting of the committee on Tuesday also agreed on the structure of the chain of command for the Maoist combatants. According to the agreement, the chain of command will have three levels with government at the top. The special committee will be above the committee secretariat in the hierarchy. The coordinator of the secretariat will head the chain of command for the combatants.

The committee has also agreed to include one representative each from Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force (APF) and the Maoist combatants and two experts in the secretariat.

Although, the secretariat was expected to be finalised Tuesday, the task has been postponed for Thursday as the parties could not agree on the coordinator of the secretariat.

UCPN (Maoist) has claimed its stake for the leadership of the secretariat. It has demanded its army chief Nanda Kishor Pun be named the coordinator of the secretariat.  However, Nepali Congress and the CPN (UML) have been saying, the coordinator should be an expert on the area and not someone affiliated to a political party. According to a high-level source, PM Nepal is likely appoint a high-level government officer, either retired or incumbent, possibly from one of the security agencies as the coordinator of the secretariat. The source claimed, the special committee will comply with the PM’s decision as he is the chairman of the committee.

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