Nepalese Civil War

The Nepalese Civil War was a conflict between government forces and Maoist rebels in Nepal which Nepalese Civil War lasted from 1996 until 2006. The war was started by the Communist Party of Nepal on February 13, 1996, with the aim of establishing the "People's Republic of Nepal." It ended with a Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed on 21 November 2006 which is now monitored by United Nations Mission in Nepal.

Overview

More than 12,800 people were killed and an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 people were internally displaced as a result of the conflict. This conflict disrupted the majority of rural development activities and led to a deep and complex Left Front which, together with the Nepali Congress, was the backbone of the broadbased movement for democratic change. However, communist groups uncomfortable with the alliance between ULF and Congress formed a parallel front, the United National People's Movement. The UNPM called for elections to a Constituent Assembly, and rejected compromises made by ULF and Congress with the royal house. In November 1990 the Communist Party of Nepal was formed, including key elements of constituents of UNPM. The new party held its first convention in 1991, the adopted a line of "protracted armed struggle on the route to a new democratic revolution" and that the party would remain an underground party. The CPN set up Samyukta Jana Morcha, with Baburam Bhattarai as its head, as an open front ten contest elections. In the 1991 elections, SJM became the third force in the Nepalese parliament. However, disagreements surged regarding which tactics to be used by the party. One sector argued for immediate armed revolution whereas others claimed that Nepal was not yet ripe for armed struggle.

In 1994 CPN/SJM where split in two. The militant sector later renamed itself as the Communist Party of Nepal . The Maoists labeled the government forces "feudal forces," and included in this accusation the monarchy and the mainstream political parties. The armed struggle began soon afterwards with simultaneous attacks on remote police stations and district headquarters. Initially, the Nepalese government mobilized the Nepal Police to contain the insurgency. The Royal Nepal Army was not involved in direct fighting because the conflict was regarded as a matter for the police to sustain control. Furthermore, controversy grew regarding the army not assisting the police during insurgent attacks in remote areas. The popularly-elected prime minister resigned his post, due to the refusal of the Royal Army to take part in the conflict. This situation changed dramatically in 2002 when the first session of peace talks failed and the Maoists attacked an army barracks in in western Nepal. Overnight, the army was unleashed against the insurgents. At the same time, the king of Nepal maintained a puppet democratic government which depended upon him for their status to remain legitimate. Under the aegis of the global War on Terrorism and with the stated goal of averting the development of a "failed state" that could serve as a source of regional and international instability, the United States, European Union, and India, among other nations, have provided extensive military and economic aid to the Nepalese government. This material support to the Nepali government dried up after King Gyanendra seized full control in February 2005 to get rid of civil war for once and all.

The government responded to the rebellion by banning provocative statements about the monarchy, imprisoning journalists, and shutting down newspapers accused of siding with the insurgents. Several rounds of negotiations, accompanied by temporary cease-fires, have been held between the insurgents and the government. The government has categorically rejected the insurgents' demand for an election to the constituent assembly; it would result in the abolition of the monarchy by a popular vote. At the same time, the Maoists have refused to recognize the installation of a constitutional monarchy. In November 2004, the government rejected the Maoists' request to negotiate directly with the King Gyanendra rather than via the Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba; their request for discussions to be mediated by a third party, such as the United Nations was dismissed.

Throughout war, the government controlled the main cities and towns, whilst the Maoist dominated the rural areas. Historically, the presence of the Nepali government has been limited to town and zonal centers. The only state apparatus present in most small villages, where most of the inhabitants of Nepal live, were a health post, a government school, a village council, and a police booth. Once the insurgency began, the schools were all that remained, indicating that the Maoists had seized control of the village.
The Royal government powerbase is located in the zonal headquarters and the capital Kathmandu. Unrest reached Kathmandu in 2004 when the Maoists announced a blockade of the capital city.

Intense fighting and civic unrest continued well into 2005, with the death toll rising to 200 in December 2004. On February 1, 2005, in response to the inability of the relatively democratic government to restore order, King Gyanendra assumed total control of the government. He proclaimed, "Democracy and progress contradict one another… In pursuit of liberalism, we should never overlook an important aspect of our conduct, namely discipline."

On November 22, 2005, the joint CPN-United People's Front conference in Delhi issued a 12-point resolution, stating that they "…completely agree that autocratic monarchy is the main hurdle" hindering the realisation of "democracy, peace, prosperity, social advancement and a free and sovereign Nepal." In addition, "It is our clear view that without establishing absolute democracy by ending autocratic monarchy, there is no possibility of peace, progress, and prosperity in the country."

An understanding had been reached to establish absolute democracy by ending monarchy with the respective forces centralizing their assault against autocratic monarchy thereby creating a nationwide storm of democratic protests. This marked a departure from the previous stance of the CPN, which had so far vehemently opposed the gradual process of democratization advocated by the UPF.

As a result of the civil war, Nepal's greatest source of foreign exchange, its tourism industry, suffered considerably. iExplore, a travel company, published rankings of the popularity of tourist destinations, based on their sales, which indicated that Nepal had gone from being the tenth most popular destination among adventure travelers, to the twenty-seventh.

The conflict has forced the young and able to seek work abroad in order to avoid the Human Rights Violations committed by the Government forces and the crimes committed by the Maoists. These labourers work predominantly in the Gulf and Southeast Asia . The regular flow of remittances from these labourers has permitted the country to avoid serious economic crisis or economic bankruptcy. The economy of Nepal is heavily dependent on the infusion of foreign income from the labouring class .

Timeline

1996

*February 13: Initiation of "the people's war" by the Communist Party of Nepal
Kathmandu: A soft-drink bottling factory owned by a multi-national company is attacked and the building torched.
Gorkha District
*A foreign liquor factory is completely destroyed.
*The office of the Small Farmer's Development Programme of the state-owned Agricultural Development Bank in Chyangli VDC is ransacked.
: A moneylender's house is raided at night, properties and cash reportedly worth 1.3 million rupees seized, and loan documents worth several million rupees reportedly destroyed. 7 members of the moneylender's family are killed , all shot to death.
, & Districts: One police outpost raided in each district. The outpost at Holeri, Rolpa has its stores seized, including a substantial amount of high explosives. Athbiskot-Rari, Rukum is also raided. The Sindhuligarhi post in Sindhuli is reportedly raided without . 17 Police personnel are killed in total , and only one Maoist guerilla is killed in retaliation.

2001

*: The government creates the Armed Police Force to fight the insurgents.
*May 28: gives an interview with the Communist journal ''A World to Win''.
*June 1: Crown Prince reportedly kills King and most of the royal family in the . Dipendra, comatose after a failed suicide attempt or assassination attempt by palace guards, is crowned king, according to tradition. He dies on June 4, is crowned King.
*August 3: The first round of peace talks begin
*November 23: Peace talks collapse when the Maoists withdraw and launch a ferocious attack Police and Army posts in 42 districts , in which 186 Army and Police personnel are killed , in return for only 21 Maoists killed during resistance by Army and Police personnel.
*November 26: The monarchy declares a Nationwide State of Emergency and employs the Nepal Army in attacking the Maoists.

2002

*The United States Congress approves US$12 million to train Royal Nepal Army officers and supply 5,000 M16 rifles.
*: Peace talks collapse.
*August 17: Killing of 39 Maoist rebels in the Ramechhap District of central Nepal during an offensive launched jointly by the Army , Police and Air Force of Nepal. 7 Soldiers of the Nepali Army and 5 Constables of the Armed Police are also killed in the operation.
*October 13: At least 42 Police Recruits and 9 Maoists are killed when an estimated 3,000 Maoists attempt to storm a Police Training Center in Bhaluwang. "'The rebels had snapped telephone cables, set up roadblocks by felling trees or blowing up highway bridges to prevent reinforcements from coming,' a witness, Krishna Adhikary, told Reuters."
*October 27: " Colonel Adrian Griffith and six Nepalese nationals were freed last week 42 hours after being taken captive in Baglung, 300 km west of Kathmandu, while on a drive to recruit young Gurkha soldiers to serve in the British army." Party chief Prachanda said, "We are sorry for the incident that took place against the policy of the party."
*November 11: The government Defence Ministry accuses the Maoists of abducting twenty-nine 9th- and 10th-grade students from Riva Secondary School in Mugu District, western Nepal during the previous week.
*November 19: According to a Nepal army official, four people were caught at the Chinese Khasa border point, 114 kilometers northeast of Kathmandu, smuggling weapons from Tibet into Nepal. The official named Hirala Lal Shrestha and Gyaljen Sherpa and said they were taken for interrogation in the Tibetan town of Xigatse.

2004

*February 5: An Army raid is carried out by the Bhairavnath Battalion on a village in Bhimad, Makwanpur District. Reports emerge that 45 suspected Maoist activists and two civilians have been extra-judicially executed. Amnesty International later wrote a letter to Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa and Brigadier-General Nilendra Aryal, Head of the Royal Nepal Army human rights cell, demanding an immediate inquiry.
*February 10: Two central committee members of Communist Party of Nepal , Matrika Yadav and Suresh Paswan, are reported to have been handed over by India to Nepal. They were reportedly arrested in Lucknow after Nepal provided information.
*February 13: Ganesh Chilwal leads an anti-Maoist protest on this day, the ninth anniversary of the commencement of the revolution.
*February 15: Ganesh Chilwal is shot dead in his Kathmandu office by two suspected Maoists.
*February 15 and 16: State radio report 13 rebels killed in seven separate small clashes across the kingdom.
*April 2: The largest rallies since 1990 begin in Kathmandu. They are variously labelled "pro-democracy" and "anti-monarchy."
*April 3: More than 12 trucks are burnt while waiting at a western Nepal border post to pick up petrol from India. India condemns the attacks and vows to fight terrorism.
*April 4: "Some 150 demonstrators were struck during a police baton charge" during demonstrations in Kathmandu
*April 4 "Hundreds of Maoist rebels" attack a Police outpost in Yadukuwa, Jadukhola killing at least 13 Policemen. 35 Policemen are reported missing, 13 dead, and 7 wounded. 8 to 9 Maoists are reported dead. "Witnesses said more than 500 rebels attacked the Police post and began firing Assault Rifles and RPG-7 rockets. at around 9 p.m. on Sunday night. The fighting lasted two to three hours." Other reports state 400 rebels.
*April 4: In the west of the country three Indian traders are shot and injured and have their vehicles burned.
*April 5: In the morning, 3 soldiers are killed and 7 injured by a CPN landmine activated by their vehicle at Dhalkhola, 50 km east of Kathmandu.
*August 16: The Soaltee Hotel, a popular luxury hotel in Kathmandu, is bombed, after refusing a demand from the Maoists that the hotel close.
*August 18: A bomb explodes in a marketplace in southern Nepal. The blast kills a 12-year-old boy and wounds six others, including three policemen. In addition, Maoist rebels, demanding the release of captured guerrillas, stop all road traffic near Kathmandu by threatening to attack vehicles. Some Nepal businesses are shut down because of threats.
*September 10: A bomb explodes at the United States Information Service office in Kathmandu.
*September 13: U.S. Peace Corps suspends operations and non-essential U.S. Embassy personnel are evacuated from Nepal.
*December 15: Twenty government security personnel are killed in the western district of when the Maoists mount a surprise attack.
*December 16: Sixteen Maoist rebels are killed in clashes with Nepalese security forces in the western district of .
*December 23: Maoist forces launch blockade of Kathmandu
*December 26: Over 15,000 hold peace rally in Kathmandu

2005

*January 2: Nepali media falsely reports two children being killed in Dailekh District by a Maoist bomb.
*January 4: Three government security personnel and between two and twenty-four Maoist rebels reported killed in fighting.
*January 8: Maoists detain and later release 300 passengers from six buses that defy their blockade of Kathmandu.
*January 10: Prime Minister Deuba said he would increase defense spending to fight the Maoists unless they come forward for talks with the government.
*January 11: Protests and blockades over the government fuel price increases of between 10% and 25%.
*January 15: Maoists allegedly detain 14 Indian Gurkhas from Chuha village in Kailali.
*February 1: King Gyanendra dissolves parliament and bans all news reports. The army begins arresting senior political leaders, journalists, trade unionists, human rights activists and civil society leaders. All telephone and internet connections are cut.
*February 28: The Indian Army intervenes and is first spotted in Nepal, killing 32 Maoist rebels.
*June 6: Badarmude bus explosion: Some 38 civilians are killed and over 70 injured after a packed passenger bus runs over a rebel landmine in Chitwan District.
*August 9: Maoist rebels kill 40 security men in midwestern Nepal.
*September 3: The Maoists declare a three-month unilateral ceasefire to woo opposition political parties.
*November 19: After negotiations, the agree to work with opposition politicians in a common front against the rule of Gyanendra of Nepal.

2006

*January 2: Rebels decide not to extend a four month ceasefire saying that the government had broken the ceasefire with numerous attacks on Maoist villages.
*January 14: Maoists launch coordinated attacks of five military and paramilitary targets in the Kathmandu Valley. The first demonstration of their ability to organize violence within the Valley, prompting curfews at night for the next several days.
*March 14: Nepali rebels extend road blockade; nationwide strike called for April 3
*April 5: begins with Maoist forces promising to refrain from violence.
*April 6, 7: Protesters clash with police, hundreds arrested, dozens injured.
*April 8: A curfew is imposed in Kathmandu from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. The king orders protesters violating the curfew to be "shot on sight."
*April 9: scheduled to end. Government extends curfew, BBC reports. Three dead in two days of unrest, as thousands of demonstrators defy curfews.
*April 27: Maoist insurgents, responding to a demand by the newly appointed Girija Prasad Koirala, announce a unilateral three-month truce after in Kathmandu, and encourage the formation of a new constituent assembly tasked with rewriting the nation's constitution.
*May 3: Nepal's new cabinet declares a ceasefire. The cabinet also announces that the Maoist rebels will no longer be considered a terrorist group. Rebels are also encouraged to open peace talks.
*November 21: Peace talks end with the signing of a deal between Girija Prasad Koirala and leader Prachanda. The deal allows the Maoists to take part in government, and places their weapons under UN monitoring.

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