Maoists ink formal discharge of 1,614 disqualified
KATHMANDU, March 23: The Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) on Monday signed a declaration formally discharging 1,614 disqualified Maoist combatants who were absent during the formal discharge conducted from 6 January to 8 February.
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 Niranjan Uprety, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, witnessed the signing of the declaration, a statement from the UN office in Kathmandu said Tuesday.
In total, 4,008 individuals registered during the UN-led verification process have been formally discharged from the Maoist army, including those who were under 18 on 25 May 2006, the day of the ceasefire, and those recruited thereafter.
The UN further said that all those discharged are eligible for rehabilitation packages developed by the United Nations Children´s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Development Program (UNDP), in consultation with the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction and the UCPN-M.
Financing for the packages is provided from the UN Peace Fund for Nepal (UNPFN), which is supported by the governments of Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Canada, and the UN Peace Building Fund.
The discharged combatants have been offered four choices for rehabilitation. These include vocational training, micro/small enterprise development, education support, and health services training.
The UN has established a toll-free number that discharged combatants can call for more information about the packages: 1660-01-77888. They can make a free call from anywhere in Nepal.
As of 17 March, 665 calls had been received; 265 participants had been referred to service providers across the country, and 162 had started education or training, the UN further said.