|7-point peace deal|
KIRAN CHAPAGAIN & KIRAN PUN
This is the most important breakthrough in the home-grown peace process after the signing of the epoch-making Comprehensive Peace Agreement on November 21, 2006.
The peace process had remained largely stalled for the past five years as parties could not agree on the modality of integration and rehabilitation of ex-Maoist fighters.
As per the deal reached Tuesday evening at Baluwatar, the much-awaited categorization of over 19,000 ex-combatants will be completed by November 23. Under the categorization process, the ex-combatants will be segregated in three groups -- those to be integrated, rehabilitated and those to be given retirement.
The parties will also in the meantime work simultaneously for forming a national consensus government while expediting works on the peace process and constitution drafting.
Under the deal, the parties have agreed to integrate up to 6,500 ex-combatants into the Nepal Army by setting up a separate directorate in the army. The directorate will comprise 65 percent personnel from government security agencies and the remaining 35 percent from the Maoist army. Such a directorate will have non-combative mandate for development, security of forests, industries, and management calamity.
Earlier, the Maoist party had demanded that 8,000 to 10,000 combatants should be integrated, which was four thousand more than what the Nepali Congress had insisted. Similarly, the Maoist party had sought combative mandate for the proposed directorate but NC and CPN-UML were opposed to it.
But the Maoist party finally agreed to give up its position and agreed on a non-combative role for the directorate.
But the agreement has not spelled out the nature of the mandate as combative or non-combative.
Before the deal, the top leaders of the UCPN (Maoist), NC and CPN-UML had met in the afternoon to discuss the contentious issues of the peace process.
Under the deal, the ex-combatants will be integrated as per the standard norms of the national army on individual basis but flexibility will be maintained regarding the norms relating to age, education and marital status. The Maoists had been insisting for long for relaxation of the standard norms and for integration on group basis.
The Maoist party has also compromised on rank harmonization issue. Though the Maoists have long demanded that their army should be allowed to lead the directorate, the agreement is silent in this regard.
The agreement further states that the ranks of the to-be-integrated ex-combatants will be determined as per the set standard of the national army. And, harmonization will be done in such a way that it will not affect negatively career development of the incumbent rank and file of the national army.
In exchange for the Maoist compromise, NC and CPN-UML have also gave up their earlier position on rehabilitation package. As per the agreement, those ex-combatants opting for rehabilitation will be given a package between Rs 600,000 to Rs 900,000 depending on their service time in the Maoist army.
But the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML had insisted that the package should involve no more than Rs 400,000 to Rs 700,000. But those who choose the package in cash will get less. Under this scheme, high ranking Maoist combatants will get Rs 800,000, and others will get Rs 700,000, Rs 600,000 and Rs 500,000, respectively, depending on their ranks, in two tranches.
Paramilitary structure of YCL to be dissolved
The Maoist party has also agreed with other parties to dissolve the paramilitary structure of the Young Communist League. Similarly, all the seized properties will be returned to rightful owners by November 23 along with due compensation.
High-level political mechanism
The parties have also agreed to form a high-level political mechanism to conclude the peace process and constitution drafting.
Similarly, the parties have also agreed to immediately form a group of experts on state restructuring. Such a group will have a month´s time and constitution drafting will be started after one month.
The parties have also agreed to expedite works on finalizing transitional mechanisms.
Timeline of the peace process
• November 22, 2005 12: Point Understanding signed between the seven political parties and then Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).
• April 6, 2006: Janaandolan II starts
• April 24, 2006: King Gyanendra accepts defeat, reinstates House of Representatives.
• April 26, 2006: Maoist party announces unilateral ceasefire
• May 4, 2006: The seven-party government announces ceasefire, removes terrorist tag off the Maoists.
• May 26, 2006: Code of conduct on ceasefire agreed between the Government of Nepal and the CPN (Maoist).
• June 15, 2006: Agreement on reached between the government of Nepal and the CPN (Maoist) on monitoring and implementation the 12-point understanding and the code of conduct.
• June 16, 2006: Eight-point agreement signed between the leaders of the seven-party alliance and the CPN (Maoist).
• August 9, 2006: Nepal government writes to the UN Secretary General inviting the UN to monitor the peace process
• November 21, 2006: Comprehensive Peace Accord concluded between the government of Nepal and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
• December 8, 2006: Agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies
• January 15, 2007: Interim Constitution promulgated
• April 28, 2008: Election to the Constituent Assembly
• May 28, 2008: Abolition of monarchy, declaration of republic
• June 25, 2008: Agreement signed between political parties to amend the constitution and to further the peace process.
• September 13, 2010: Four-point agreement signed between the government and the UCPN (Maoist) to take the peace process to its logical conclusion.
• January 15, 2011: UNMIN leaves Nepal; parties take responsibility of monitoring of Maoist combatants.
• January 22, 2011: Ex-Maoist combatants come under the command and control of the Special Committee.
• September 1, 2011: Maoists hand over keys to the armed containers
• September 9, 2011: Maoists unilaterally decide to return seized property.
Published on 2011-11-02 00:00:01from Republica