Nepal

Nepal: The End of the War - But What Next?

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On Tuesday 21 November 2006, at 8.30 pm, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist chairman Prachanda signed a Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) bringing an official end to the decade-long "People's War" launched by the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) in February 1996.

The CPA declares the current ceasefire permanent, thereby ending the Maoists' armed insurgency. From now on the use of guns, explosives and other military material, as well as abductions, attacks on persons or places by ground or air, raids or ambushes are declared illegal. There is also a commitment that within 30 days both parties to the conflict (the Maoist PLA and the government forces - the Nepal Army) will share information regarding the placement of mines and that within 60 days they will all be disabled.

Nepal: Next Steps in Democracy Struggle

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During April hundreds of thousands of people came out onto the streets of Nepal in an impressive show of anger against the authoritarian regime of King Gyanendra. In the wake of the king's concessions to the protesters, everyone is asking questions about what will happen next.

The movement that opposed the royal dictatorship was initiated by an alliance of the seven main parties (known as the SPA), and supported by the whole of civil society and virtually all social classes. Would it achieve its objective of removing the king's powers and restoring democracy? What would be the role of the Maoists, who currently control most of the countryside and are able to exert a stranglehold on the urban areas?

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