2,394 young men and women discharged from Maoist army

04 Mar 2010

image 2,394 young men and women discharged from Maoist army. PHOTO: UN

2,394 young men and women discharged from Maoist army
March 04, 2010

In all, 2,394 young men and women who joined the Maoist army as minors, and late recruits were discharged in seven cantonments across Nepal in the past month. UNDP and its partners in the UNCT provided technical and logistical support to the discharge process.

Out of the 4008 individuals, 2,973 were disqualified from the Maoist army as minors in the United Nations verification process that ended in December 2007. Another group of 1,035 were disqualified because they were recruited after the ceasefire in May 2006 that ended 10 years of armed conflict. Roughly one-third of the total number of those disqualified are female.

Rehabilitation packages supported by the Government and the United Nations in Nepal are available for the dischargees. They include: formal schooling, vocational training, training as health workers, and to set up small/micro-enterprises. Dischargees have 12 months from their date of discharge to sign up for one of these packages; to date, there is increasing interest by the dischargees in the rehabilitation packages and a number of them have already started their training.

The discharge is a key component of an Action Plan signed in December 2009 by the Government of Nepal, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist (UCPN-M) and the United Nations.

A United Nations team will monitor the UCPN-M’s compliance with the Action Plan. The Plan holds the party accountable for re-recruitment of dischargees into the Maoist army or dischargees’ engagement in violent activities within UCPN-M affiliated organisations. When it is verified that the UCPN-M has fully complied with the plan, the party can be considered for removal from the list of parties that recruit and use children in conflict; the list is included in the annual UN Secretary-General’s report on Children and Armed Conflict.

Under the Action Plan, monitoring will last six months, and monitoring under Security Council resolution 1612 will continue beyond that date. ‘The conclusion of the discharge process is a positive step in Nepal’s peace process at a time when building confidence and trust amongst the parties is all-important,’ said Representative of the Secretary-General in Nepal, Karin Landgren.