UCPN-M signs UN declaration on fighters discharge

KATHMANDU; Leaders of the Unified CPN-Maoist today signed a declaration formally discharging 1,614 disqualified PLA fighters. The fighters were absent during the discharge process conducted from January 6 to February 8, 2010 in PLA cantonments across nation.

United Nations Resident and Humanitarian coordinator Robert Piper, representative of the UN Secretary-General in Nepal, Karin Landgren, OHCHR-Nepal representative Richard Bennett, UNICEF Child Protection Specialist Djanabou Mahonde and Under Secretary at the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction Niranjan Uprety were present during the signing of the declaration, a press statement issued by UNICEF, Nepal said.

"Today's signing is another significant step in the peace process as it fulfils an obligation contained in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)," said Landgren, adding that it also means severing of all ties between the Maoist army and those disqualified as minors who can now freely undertake the transition from military to civilian life.

A total of 4,008 individuals have been formally discharged from the Maoist army. All those discharged are eligible for rehabilitation packages developed by the UNICEF, the UN Population Fund and the UN Development Programme in consultation with the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction and UCPN-M, the statement said.