KATHMANDU: The Technical Committee (TC), which is under the Special Committee (SC) on Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants, is about to complete its first phase.

So far, the TC has visited six of the seven cantonments. Deepak Bhatta, a TC member, said they would soon visit the cantonment at Dudhauli in Sindhuli. During the first phase, whose deadline expires on October 30, the combatants were asked about their future plans.

"The PLA fighters made it clear that they would abide by our decision," said Bhatta. The TC is working towards building trust and confidence among the ex-rebels. "Initial findings suggest that the integration process will be completed on time," he added.

The TC has also interacted with the Nepali Army and the APF representatives on the integration modality. The Nepal Police is next in line. The TC will apprise the SC of its achievements in the first phase soon. In the second phase, the fighters will be given three options — entering politics, joining security forces and getting back to the social mainstream. However, the SC is yet to approve the Code of Conduct as proposed by the TC last month.

UN for swift release of child soldiers

KATHMANDU: The United Nations on Wednesday called for the "swift and orderly" release of child soldiers from the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which has been confined to UN-monitored camps since the civil war ended in 2006.

Checks by the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) found that nearly 3,000 camp inmates were minors when the war ended, and the government announced in July that they would be discharged. The release plan stalled amid allegations of resistance by the former Maoist guerrillas, but the government said last week it would restart soon. "These children have a right to start their lives anew and help to build a peaceful and prosperous Nepal," said Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. — AFP