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Nepal: From Two Armies to One International Crisis Group 2011-08-18

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Asia Report N°211 - 18 August 2011
Crisis Group
A. 2005-MAY2009 4
B. MAY 2009-FEBRUARY 2011 7
A. Maoist Party and PLA Relations 9
1. Ideology and image, strategy and tactics 9
2. What combatants think 10
B. The Nepal Army 12
1. The proposal 14
2. Red lines, negotiables and hazards 16
1. Past experiences: YCL and the disqualified 20
2. The pros and cons of cash 21
C. National Security and the Security Forces 23
A. Map of Nepal 25
B. Glossary 26
C. About the International Crisis Group 27
D. Crisis Group Reports and Briefings on Asia Since 2008 28
E. Crisis Group Board of Trustees 30
Crisis Group
Asia Report N°211
18 August 2011
Central to Nepal's peace process is the integration of some
ofthe Maoist People's Liberation Army (PLA) into the
state security forces and the "rehabilitation" or retirement
ofthe rest. These steps are part of a complex set of negotiations about the future ofthe peace process and the Constituent Assembly (CA) that is drafting a new constitution.
A settlement is urgently needed to give combatants a dignified exit, years after the initial ceasefire. It is also essential to protect the constitution-drafting and to reduce two
standing armies to one. All involved will have to make
compromises to settle an issue that lies at the heart of a
sustainable peace.
Despite only sporadic negotiations after the CA's term was
extended in May 2011, agreement is possible. Negotiations
have focused on integration into the Nepal Army (NA),
and basic issues to be decided include: the number of
combatants to be integrated, standards for integration,
determination of rank and prospects for promotion, and
the role ofthe former Maoist troops in the NA. For those
who will choose rehabilitation or "voluntary retirement",
the issues include how many will want skills training,
how many cash and how many a combination ofthe two.
Also of concern are how these payments will be handled,
how ex-combatants will be accommodated in Maoist party
structures and how discontent will be handled.
It is tempting to see integration and rehabilitation (I/R) as
a largely technical issue, but it is deeply political. The peace
process viewed both armies as equals; neither was presented as having been defeated. All parties signed up to
bring the PLA into the security forces, including the national
army, which in turn was to undergo a process of reform to
make it smaller, more inclusive and more accountable.
Forthe Nepali Congress (NC) and other traditional actors,
the process is an opportunity to push the Maoists to become
like the other parties and get rid oftheir army before the
new constitution comes into force. For more conservative
forces, generous terms forthe fighters would give the sense
that violence is being rewarded. That line runs up against
the Maoist view that the PLA drove vital political change
in Nepal, particularly the creation of a secular republic.
The Maoists accept that combatants will be integrated into
anew directorate under NA control, although its mandate
and size are unclear, and leadership will probably not at
first be given to an ex-Maoist commander. There is a tacit
understanding that combatants will have to meet some,
though not all, existing recruitments standards and that
wholesale integration of entire units will be difficult. This
will in no sense be a merger ofthe two armies, as the Maoists used to demand. The party is also not going back to
war, and the PLA has been systematically separated from
political life since 2007. But all this is difficult to sell to
some factions ofthe party and the PLA, as the Maoists are
also making deep compromises on constitutional issues and
many leaders are seen as increasingly caught up in politics. Forthe party's own transformation to succeed, its army
must be seen to have been treated respectfully. The Maoists need concessions, even if only symbolic, as much as
the other actors might resent this. All parties must guard
against reducing the issue to a political bargaining chip.
Forthe 19,000 combatants, their post-PLA options are a
matter of more than just symbolism. As the parties determine how to reduce the perceived risks ofthe process,
including those of ex-combatants joining criminal groups,
turning their anger against their own party or engaging in
subversion within the NA, they must remember that this
is a diverse group. Different responses are needed for different ranks, and even within these groups, multiple options
must be available.
Integration is also a test ofthe NA's willingness to be a
constructive player. Its leadership says the army will accept political decisions. The proposal the NA unofficially
presented to the government has framed the negotiations,
and some parts present a broadly acceptable way forward.
That the army has set the agenda, though discreetly, runs
counter to principles of civilian control ofthe military.
But realistically, it means the army's interests are well
represented, a key point to keep it in the process.
I/R is a matter of urgency ifthe parties are to reach agreement on constitutional issues, including by extending the
CA's term, as needed. It is of limited public interest, but
the overall slowdown is contributing to some frustration
with mainstream political parties and further de-legitimi-
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page ii
sation of democratic processes. This is opening up space
for fringe actors who wish to roll back the political changes
since 2006. The cantonments also cost the Nepali state a
lot of money and have been in place for over four years.
Finally, conditions in the Nepal Army are relatively favourable at this time, with a chief who is willing to meet
the parties part ofthe way. Formal closure on the war can,
and should, begin now.
Integration and rehabilitation should serve a number of
purposes: mark the end often years of war and progress
in the five year-long transition; acknowledge recent history and political changes; and reduce the risk of localised
conflict or political violence. Specifically:
□ Combatants integrated into the NA should have a
chance of a reasonably successful career within the constraints of age and years of service and so should be
given opportunities to catch up with NA colleagues.
Bridge courses have already been discussed. Perhaps
some combatants will need a little more time to gain
further qualifications, while others would benefit from
seats at the staff college. While there is certain to be
some wariness of ex-Maoist combatants, leaving integrated personnel uncompetitive could fuel discontent.
□ If integration takes place primarily into the proposed
new directorate under the NA, its mandate needs clear
thinking. Being considered "non-combat" or unarmed
is problematic for the PLA personnel, but the Maoist
suggestion to deploy it for border security is unacceptable; Nepal's borders do not need to be militarised.
The parties should discuss whether the new directorate
can participate in the NA's more prestigious activities,
such as peacekeeping operations and protection of
national parks, for example. Although the debate has
so far focused on the NA, the police and armed police
could still be options, and the parties need to quickly
do homework on this. The Maoists must clearly rank
their priorities in negotiations: where integration happens, the mandate guiding integrated combatants, or
the ranks at which they want integration.
□ Preparations must immediately begin in the NA to
accommodate the newly-integrated personnel.
□ Independent assessments are that markedly more combatants will opt for rehabilitation and political work or
"voluntary retirement" than integration, if offered attractive cash or cash and vocational training packages.
This is appealing and broadly acceptable, but without
safeguards, the payouts could mean a large infusion of
cash into Maoist coffers and become a source of political tension. Payments should be made in instalments
over a period of time. Some portion could be linked to
completion of training, take the form of low- or no-
interest loans, be paid to employment agencies for those
seeking to work overseas, or consist of government
bonds. Discussions on some options have already taken
place; these should be formalised.
□ The fraught 2010 exercise in discharging disqualified
combatants holds some lessons. Vocational training
options should consider the combatants' interests and
qualifications and not be presented patronisingly. Given
the sensitivity around language, the vocabulary of "rehabilitation" could be replaced with the less judgmental-
sounding "training". Donors who fund or oversee these
programs must ensure they are getting value for money,
as combatants will know the official cash worth of
their training programs.
□ Integration and rehabilitation both should be monitored
closely to address discontent early. The monitoring
could be carried out by what is currently the secretariat
ofthe special committee, which will have gathered
experience and personnel duringthe cantonment monitoring and I/R process. Monitoring could also support
a dispute or grievance resolution mechanism. Career
counselling and psycho-social support for those who
opt for training programs or political work still need to
be discussed. Donor support for these activities could
be helpful and allow low key international observation
ofthe I/R process.
□ As the cantonments empty, the parties must begin two
exercises. A review of working conditions for soldiers
in the NA can help mitigate the potential for resentment posed by the addition of new personnel who are
seen to get special treatment. Secondly, the government and political actors, possibly through a strengthened and empowered national defence council, and
civil society must begin policy-oriented research and
discussion on key aspects of security sector reform so
as to guide the thinking of successive governments,
including: Nepal's security concerns; making the NA
more accountable and affordable; simultaneously downsizing the security forces and making them more effective and representative; and strengthening the defence
Kathmandu/Brussels, 18 August 2011
Crisis Group
Asia Report N°211
18 August 2011
Nepal's peace process has progressed in fits and starts
since the signing of an agreement in 2006.: Although it has
appeared to be close to a breakdown a number of times, it
1 For earlier Crisis Group reporting on the peace process, PLA
and cantonments, see: Asia Reports N°106, Nepal's New Alliance: The Mainstream Parties and the Maoists, 28 November
2005; N°126, Nepal's Peace Agreement: Making it Work, 15
December 2006; N°132, Nepal'sMaoists: Purists or Pragmatists, 18 May 2007; N°155, Nepal's Election: A Peaceful Revolution?, 3 July 2008; N°156, Nepal 'sNew Political Landscape,
3 July 2008; N0163,Afepa/ 's Faltering Peace Process, ^February 2009; W\17>, Nepal'sFuture: In Whose Hands?, 13 August 2009; N° 194, Nepal's Political Rites of Passage, 29 September 2010; and Asia Briefings N°68, Nepal's Fragile Peace
Process, 28 September 2007; N°72, Nepal: Peace Postponed,
17 December 2007; and N° 120, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process,
7 April 2011. Full Nepali translations of all papers from 2007
onwards are available at The November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) says
that the Maoist army would be confined to temporary cantonments, "verified" and monitored by the UN. The Interim Council of Ministers would "supervise, integrate and rehabilitate the
Maoist combatants". The Maoist army would place all its weapons except those required for security in locked containers to
which only they would have keys; the containers would be
monitored by the UN. The NA would be confined to barracks
and lock up the same number of weapons as the Maoists under
the same conditions. The interim cabinet would prepare a plan
for democratisation of the NA to "determine the appropriate
size" ofthe army and develop its "democratic structure and inclusive character". The December 2006 Agreement on the
Monitoring ofthe Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA)
sets out conditions for both armies regarding restriction of activity and movement, monitoring of weapons, cantonments and
barracks, clearing of minefields, etc. The UN mission (UNMIN) would be responsible for compliance and chair the Joint
Monitoring Coordination Committee, to assist implementation
and more importantly, serve as a dispute resolution mechanism
and encourage confidence building. The interim constitution
says that supervision, integration and rehabilitation of Maoist
combatants would be overseen by a cabinet-appointed special
committee with broader political consultation and reiterates the
commitment to the democratisation work plan. All these documents refer to the "Maoist army", not the PLA. The combatants
and the party still call it the PLA, however. This briefing uses
both names interchangeably.
has endured, and indeed even made considerable progress.
Politicians from all sides are reluctant to see a return to
violence and have usually been able to negotiate last minute deals to keep the process together. But one issue has
been repeatedly kicked down the road or tied to others: the
agreed integration of some members ofthe Maoist forces
into the Nepal Army.
Blending fighters from the People' s Liberation Army (PLA)
into the Nepal Army (the former Royal Nepal Army) was
always going to be difficult. Fierce enemies for more than
a decade, each had inflicted considerable losses on the other,
even if civilians bore the brunt of violence from both sides.
Those on the right of politics have tended to view any integration as rewarding violence and setting a precedent
that could encourage others to take up the gun against the
state. The Maoists believe their army forced key political
changes in the country and, far from being a defeated
force to be disbanded, earned an honourable place in the
national military.
The integration/rehabilitation (I/R) question demonstrates
the nature of compromise in the peace process as a whole.
There have been quid pro quo agreements across power-
sharing, management ofthe PLA and I/R, and the Constituent Assembly (CA); none is treated in isolation. Last
minute deals, driven entirely by the exigencies ofthe moment, restate major commitments but in persistently vague
language. There have also been great expectations, particularly of institutional reform, and dramatic conciliatory
moves that have nearly always been scaled down significantly in favour of symbolism and token gestures. Yet, a
brief overview ofthe place of I/R in the peace and political
processes also demonstrates two kinds of evolution. One
is how far the parties and the NA have come from the rabid
mistrust ofthe early days ofthe peace process, even if
those attitudes are still visible. The second is the possibility
of agreement and narrowing of distance on most issues,
but particularly I/R. This report is based on interviews between January and July 2011 with all sides ofthe issue,
including PLA forces most directly affected. Interviews
took place in Kathmandu, Nepalgunj, Surkhet, Chitwan,
Sunsari, Panchthar and Jhapa.
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 2
The CA's term is to expire on 31 August 2011, after an initial three-month extension agreed on 28 May, which was
based on a tacit understanding that it was the first part of
a half-year extension. Major constitutional issues, such as
federalism and forms of governance remain unresolved.
But two other issues will dominate the negotiations forthe
next extension: the elusive national unity government and
the future ofthe PLA.
The deal reached in May between the four largest parties
or party alliance - the Unified Communist Party of Nepal
(Maoist), known as UCPN(M) or "Maoists", the Nepali
Congress (NC), the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified
Marxist-Leninist) or UML, and the United Democratic
Madhesi Front - followed the pattern of previous agreements: it was last-minute, temporary and vaguely worded.
The terms ofthe deal were to complete the "basic tasks"
ofthe peace process in three months; prepare a draft of
the new constitution in the same period; implement earlier
deals with the Madhesi parties to make the NA more inclusive; and extend the CA's term by three months. The
prime minister would resign to pave the way for a "consensus national unity government". The May agreement
was interpreted variously by the parties just minutes after
they had voted.2
Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal has resigned, but a consensus government remains elusive and negotiations over
its leadership will affect the ease with which the CA is
extended and its work in the coming months, as the parties assess whether they have incentives to work together
to make progress on the new constitution. There is no alternative to the CA and no single party is in a position to
engineer something broadly acceptable in a short period
of time. The call for a fresh general election from sections
ofthe NC (and UML) has also largely died down. But
without progress on integration, the new constitution will
not be negotiated in full, let alone promulgated.3 Regrouping Maoist combatants based on their preferences would
earlier have satisfied the NC as a marker of progress, but
the likelihood of even this happening is low.4
For explanations and expectations ofthe agreement from some
negotiators, see "The Rationale Behind the Deal", The Kathmandu Post, 30 May 2011. Five years after the ceasefire, the
parties still do not agree on what the "basic tasks" ofthe peace
process are.
3 Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, August 2011.
4 The I/R process is understood to begin with regrouping of
combatants into three groups, those who want to be integrated,
those who opt for rehabilitation, and others who will opt for a
political life or "voluntary retirement". The question of sequencing is problematic, although again political expedience
I/R negotiations have stalled, yet the foundation for an
agreement has been laid. The negotiations for the May
extension of the CA for the first time focused on the
details of an integration deal and showed that the differences were not intractable. In their near-agreement, the
Maoists accepted in principle that integration would be
into aproposed new directorate underthe NA. The parties
discussed how many personnel would be integrated; the
directorate's role and command; and a timeline for initial
steps, including regrouping and selection of Maoist fighters for integration.
The NC demanded at a late stage that the Maoists hand over
keys to the containers in which their weapons are stored
before agreeing to extend the CA. The Maoists refused,
and also took a tough line on giving up the security detail
provided by the PLA to Maoist leaders.5 The NC continued to threaten dissolution ofthe CA, though one influential faction was strongly against this. Madhesi parties,
which had been sidelined from the negotiations, entered
at a late stage and asked that earlier commitments to improving representation of Madhesi populations in the NA
be implemented.6 The ruling UML was also deeply divided.
As a result the final agreement did not address details,
procedures and timelines, but only focused on salvaging
the CA and ensuring a change of government.
Following the May extension ofthe CA, internecine fighting resumed in the NC and UCPN(M). The Congress has
not yet resolved its differences, which affects its ability to
deal with the Maoists and the future ofthe CA in a coherent manner.7 As forthe Maoists, despite factionalism, there
will probably trump best practices. But questions remain. Should
regrouping occur without political decisions on the details of
integration and rehabilitation options? What are the options for
combatants, assuming their preferences matter? Further, is it
fair to reach political decisions on options without first carrying
out a survey of combatant's aspirations and qualifications?
5Days after the CA's term was extended, Maoist Chairman
Pushpa Kamal Dahal ("Prachanda") bid farewell to the almost
100 armed PLA personnel who formed the party leadership's
private security detail. This was not part ofthe formal deal, though.
The Maoists' attempt at a small good faith gesture was challenged from within, though when Senior Vice-Chairman Mohan
Vaidya ("Kiran") refused to part with his guards. Vaidya's faction agreed two months later, but as a minor point in a much
larger intra-party struggle over party posts, rather than in preparation for I/R. All factions opposed handing over PLA weapons
to the state, arguing it would be "surrender" to do so at such an
early stage ofthe I/R process.
6 A February 2008 agreement between the interim government
and a coalition of Madhes-based parties, the United Democratic
Madhesi Front (UDMF) states that entry of "Madhesis and other
groups" shall be ensured to give the army a "national and inclusive character".
7 See Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op.
cit., for details on the persistent divisions in the UML and NC
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 3
is unanimity that their combatants must be treated honourably. Their individual contributions and the PLA's role
in the recent political changes must be acknowledged. The
differences among the Maoists have to do with the division of party responsibilities and ministries, but both Senior
Vice Chairman Mohan Vaidya "Kiran" and Vice Chairman
Baburam Bhattarai brought the PLA into the negotiations,
arguing that the party would not be gaining appropriate
concessions or political leverage in exchange for giving
up its army at that time.8 The internal disputes are tamped
down for now, but the pressure is on Maoist Chairman
Prachanda and on the prime minister and UML chairman,
JhalaNath Khanal, to demonstrate some progress on I/R
before the next CA deadline.
The parties could immediately agree on some issues, such
as numbers to be integrated and standards for entry, but
the details will probably be decided piecemeal and in parallel with specific decisions on government formation,
CA deadlines and related issues. Until then, it will be important for all parties to carefully assess each other's internal and external compulsions and be willing to actually
negotiate, rather than stand on all-or-nothing positions.
The parties often mention reaching a "package deal" on
all issues, but it is more likely that they will have to agree
on what they can as they go along.
The NC should bear in mind that forcing dissolution of
the CA would, in addition to other risks, encourage the
Maoists to stall movement on the PLA. There is also no
guarantee that fresh elections would produce a significantly
different result than that of 2008. As much as it bothers
some political actors that the Maoists are the largest party
and gained considerable legitimacy through the CA, few
have begun re-vitalising even their core constituencies or
seem ready for elections.9
The Maoists are in a difficult position. The NC's calculation is that the former rebels are not going back to war and
are no longer using fear as their primary political tool.
Therefore, the NC has little to lose by pushing the Maoists hard on I/R and other issues, because the Maoists'
options are limited by the exigencies of daily politics. At
the same time, the Maoist leadership has made numerous
promises to its own people in the PLA and the party. For
them, I/R will be a test ofthe UCPN(M)'s ability to deliver.
Prachanda will also need to sell to supporters the many
compromises the party is making on constitutional issues.
The Maoists would do well to meet the NC halfway on
some issues before the cantonments become a real liability and I/R becomes an obstacle to the new constitution.
Even if I/R negotiations are renewed only in the days before the 31 August 2011 deadline, some decisions can be
made. For example, in exchange for formal agreement on
numbers and the norms combatants will have to meet for
integration, the Maoists could begin regrouping combatants and perhaps even consolidate all weapons in a single
cantonment or share a set of keys with the home or peace
and reconstruction ministry,10 or the secretariat ofthe
multi-party, constitutionally mandated special committee
on integration and rehabilitation of Maoist fighters. But
these actions will have to be decided together by the parties. Prachanda has often promised a "bold" or "unilateral"
step on I/R. In the present environment that would exacerbate the deadlock, not help break it.
and the NC struggles over leadership. Alliances shift, and some
events, like the CA negotiations, introduce new elements. For
example, the "weapons first" demand and call for fresh elections were part ofthe NC's bluff to force the Maoists to agree
on integration. But in private, itwas clear that considerable sections ofthe NC had no real intention to dissolve the CA, which
would limit its leverage in the I/R discussion. The NC has been
hobbled for some time by the lack of a clear position in the negotiations and an unwillingness to take risks that could allow it
to dislodge the Maoists from the driver's seat in the peace process. Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, August 2011.
8 See Section IV below for details. For a summary of some of
the divisions, see Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Fitful Peace
Process, op. cit. Kiran and his faction are often referred to as
"hardliners". See Crisis Group Report, Nepal's New Political
Landscape, op. cit., p. 2, for why the term is unhelpful. Much
has been made ofthe resistance of these so-called "hardliners"
to withdrawal of PLA security. Yet, according to a central Maoist
party member, some had either already informally dismissed
their PLA guards or were planning to. Police security personnel
ask for fewer personal favours and do not expect the party to
cater to their needs during travel or lengthy meetings. Crisis
Group interview, June 2011.
A young NC leader summed up the dilemma if his party forced
fresh elections by dissolving the CA: "We're damned if we do
and damned if we don't".
10Both ministries presently have Maoist ministers in a Maoist-
backed government.
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 4
The reasons for the mistrust between the Maoists and NA,
the NC and the Maoists, and the NA and all political parties
are legion. The November 2005 twelve-point agreement,
the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of November
2006, the Agreement on the Monitoring ofthe Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA) of December 2006,
the drafting ofthe interim constitution and formation of
the interim government in charge from 2006 to 2008, and
the CA election all occurred in the context of an analysis
which proved wrong. Far from coming in a distant third
in the elections, the Maoists ended up controlling almost
40 per cent ofthe CA and won exactly half of all directly
elected seats.11
The debate about "honourable" integration or rehabilitation, as the Maoists describe it, reflects conflicting perspectives on recent political history and the peace process.
The Maoists argue that the PLA had forced the state to
sign on to deep reforms, helped edge out the monarchy
that had hobbled the post-1990 democratic set-up, and
kick-started an unprecedented degree of social and political transformation. Many in the NC, UML and sections of
civil society argue that the people voted for peace (and
often in fear ofthe Maoist army), that the Maoists' authoritarian aims make them untrustworthy. They say that
acknowledging the significance ofthe PLA and its combatants would confer legitimacy on violent political methods . A few argue that the 1990 constitution was adequate,
though almost no mainstream leaders argue this.
A.  2005-MAY2009
The vagueness ofthe peace process documents and the
many last-minute agreements signed since have been in
part due to the divergence ofthe parties beyond common
short-term goals, lack of strategic clarity on the part ofthe
non-Maoist parties and the Maoists' need to keep multiple options open. The parties may have been united in their
desire to counter King Gyanendra's absolute rule, but there
were deep contradictions between them. The Maoists and
the late GP Koirala, NC president, both wanted to cut the
Royal Nepal Army (RNA)12 down to size. The former saw
it as the embodiment oftheir opponents in the feudal royal
regime, the latter as a powerful institution inimical to democracy. Yet, sections ofthe NC and UML have always
The Maoists won half (120) ofthe seats in the first-past-the-
post contests with 30.5 per cent ofthe vote. They won 29.3 per
cent ofthe proportional representation vote, giving them a total
of 220 ofthe 575 elected seats, as well as nine ofthe 26 nominated seats.
12 The RNA was renamed Nepal Army (NA) as part of the abolition ofthe monarchy in May 2006.
been wary ofthe peace process framework and the Maoists' intentions and opposed to Koirala's compromises.
Some contradictory actions and perceptions resulted from
this dynamic. There was an informal agreement between
interim Prime Minister Koirala and Prachanda that the
PLA would inflate its numbers.13 For Koirala, wary ofthe
RNA and under attack by the strong conservative faction
of his own party for engaging with the Maoists, this was
a way to hold his own against the army and to give the
Maoists incentive to stay in the process.
Observers and RNA personnel had put the strength ofthe
PLA at anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 at the height of
the war. It came as a bit of a surprise when over 32,000
showed up to the UN-run verification process in 2007 and
were registered in the cantonments, and about 19,600 were
later verified as being members ofthe PLA.14 A number
of those who were not verified continued to be associated
with the cantonments and were only formally discharged
in February 2010.15
13 See, for example, Prashant Jha, "Reforming the Army", and
"The Limits of Negotiations", The Kathmandu Post, 26 April
and 18 May 2011 respectively.
1432,250 were initially registered in the cantonments. Of these,
8,638 did not appear for verification. Ofthe 23,610 combatants
who went through the verification process, 19,602 were deemed
part ofthe Maoist army. Ofthe rest, 2,973 were minors, or born
after 25 May 1988, and 1,035 were late recruits, who joined
after the Ceasefire Code of Conduct was signed on 25 May
2006. About 2,400 of these minors and late recruits went through
a formal discharge process in 2010 (see below). The question
of how the Maoists boosted the PLA's numbers credibly is perhaps less puzzling than is sometimes made out. RNA estimates
ofthe size ofthe Maoist army and Maoist claims were similar
by mid-2005: 9,500-10,000 PLA combatants. Both sides factored in an additional 20,000-25,000 militia members. (See, for
example, Crisis Group Asia Report N°104, Nepal's Maoists:
Their Aims, Structure and Strategy, 27 October 2005, p. 8.) Recruitment went up after the Chunbang plenum in October 2005,
after which PLA divisions were increased from three to seven.
The plenum also paved the way for the twelve-point agreement
the Maoists reached with the traditional parties the next month,
which raises the question why the expansion happened. This
expansion accounts for some ofthe increase in size, and members ofthe militia and irregulars are likely to have entered the
cantonments, too. As with integration into the NA, numbers are
secondary. During the war, the PLA's ability to take on the larger, better-trained, equipped and funded RNA increased to the
point a military solution was impossible. The confusion about
how the cantonments were filled matters in that it fuelled considerable mistrust ofthe Maoists.
15 A criticism some non-Maoist actors made ofthe verification
process is that only as many combatants should have been verified as weapons the PLA said it owned. This has also been put
forward as a plausible basis for determining the numbers of
fighters to be integrated. The UN registered about 3,600 PLA
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 5
Not all PLA personnel went through the verification process or into the cantonments. Senior commanders and commissars kept their high party positions instead, and many
other experienced combatants formed the core ofthe revived Young Communist League YCL).16 Koirala had not
expected such an inflation of numbers, but he and a section
ofthe NC still assumed that the Maoists would be routed in
the elections, that the combatants would leave the cantonments, and that the NC would dictate the terms of I/R.17
In the earliest days ofthe negotiations, the Maoists had
been wary of cantoning their fighters, believing it would be
better to keep them in play, as part ofthe party organisation. Unsure about how the monarchy and the RNA would
react to the push for a republic and whether the CA elec
tions would take place, the party was keeping the possibility of confrontation alive. The initial doubts dissipated,
however, and the terms ofthe peace deals, which placed
the Maoist army on par with the RNA, and the recognition of the PLA by the UN became sources of legitimacy.18 By early 2008, Prachanda was telling combatants
that infiltration ofthe army through integration and subsequent state capture were viable goals, but that staying in
the cantonments was a form of revolution, too.19 The
Maoist leadership also said that the CPA contained parallel
commitments with regard to the two armies: "profession-
alisation ofthe PLA [through integration] and democratisation ofthe Nepal Army".
Before the elections, not everyone was convinced that the
peace process would hold.20 Yet, there was no pressure
weapons; some 3,300 reportedly matched the types of weapons
the Maoist army claimed to have taken from the security forces
in raids and attacks. PLA fighters say, and eyewitness accounts
and some photographic evidence suggest, that they relied heavily on IEDs - socket bombs, pipe bombs, and pressure cooker
bombs - and knives and hatchets, rather than standard military
arms. For images of the war from different perspectives, see
Kunda Dixit (ed.), A People's War (Kathmandu, 2008); and
Tasbirma Janayuddha -1, Unified Communist Party of Nepal
(Maoist) (Kathmandu, 2011). Other criticisms ofthe verification process came from the Maoists. There had been disagreements early on and complaints about how UN enumerators
were asking questions. These were resolved, but some of those
discharged in 2010 also complained they did not understand the
basis for their exclusion. Crisis Group interviews, former combatants, former UNMIN officials, Sunsari, Jhapa, Panchthar,
Kathmandu, January-May 2011. See also Section V below.
16 A retired NA general estimated that about 7,000 PLA combatants entered the YCL. Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu,
April 2011. Other observers close to the Maoists also said "many"
fighters were absorbed there. Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, January 2011. A senior YCL member said he was in
the PLA but spent the latter part ofthe conflict in prison. Crisis
Group interview, Kathmandu, March 2011. The party leadership has always maintained that the army is under party control.
However, that separation has not always been visible. Ahead of
the cantoning process, Maoist leaders would sell the process to
the PLA by saying the real war was ideological and mental.
See, for example, Baburam Bhattarai, "Bichar, banduk ra naya
karyadisha", in Rastriyata r ganatantra (Kathmandu, 2010).
When PLA members make the same argument, that they are
notjust unthinking soldiers but fighters with a cause, it muddies the picture further for non-Maoists who would like a clear
basis for distinction. An NC condition in the May 2011 CA negotiations was that combatants who had participated in the
Palungtar plenum should be immediately discharged from the
cantonments; implicitly they were too political to qualify for
integration. The division between politics or ideology and a
military career is not always a straight line.
17 See Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Election: A Peaceful Revolution?, op. cit. Until early 2009, when the Maoist party merged
with a smaller left party and added 'unified' to its name, it was
called the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), or CPN(M).
Critics who see the Maoist-UNMIN relationship as having
been overly friendly should remember that as late as 2008, Kiran
and other Maoist leaders were still suspicious of UNMIN, saying it wanted to dissolve the PLA and was pro-American. For
an excellent overview of UNMIN's mandate and activities until
the CA election, the context of mutual mistrust, and India's
suspicious attitude to UNMIN that spilled over into the peace
process as a whole, see Aditya Adhikari, "Shackled or Unleashed:
UNMIN inNepal's Peace Process", Himal South Asian, October 2008.
19 In an infamous video, Prachanda was seen telling combatants
in the Third Division cantonment in Shaktikhor, Chitwan, that
the party had taken the PLA from 8,000 to 19,000 during the
verification and this would assist in capturing the state. The video
was from early 2008, before the CA election. It surfaced in
May 2009, at the height ofthe controversy in which Prachanda,
then prime minister, resigned after unsuccessfully attempting to
dismiss the chief of army staff. The UCPN(M) never responded
satisfactorily to the numerous questions the video raised. Instead of discussing how many full-time fighters the PLA had,
what it planned to do with them, and the depth of the party's
commitment to peaceful, democratic politics, the leadership
waffled. Prachanda and others argued only that the comments
had been made in a different context. It is difficult to say whether
the Maoist leadership really thought it was possible to subvert
the NA from within. But telling the cantoned PLA that this
would be its future role certainly added to the other parties'
20 A little-publicised incident illustrates the risk of hostilities at
that time. Days before the CA election, Maoist cadres in Ramechhap district, where competition with the UML had been particularly sharp, abducted some UML supporters, including two NA
soldiers onleave. Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Katawal
ordered preparations for a rescue mission and for NA special
forces to surround or "destroy" the CPN(M) headquarters in
Kathmandu. The government had not been informed or asked
for permission. But senior officers of both armies had been
building relationships through the Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee and a last-minute political intervention urged
by UNMIN defused the situation. Crisis Group interviews,
former UNMIN official and retired NA general, via email and
Kathmandu, July 2011.
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on the Maoists to agree to I/R, and the elections went ahead
with two standing armies. Much ofthe NC took a firm "no
integration" line, particularly after the unpleasant surprise
ofthe election results. They shared this view with Chief
of Army Staff (CoAS) General Rookmangud Katawal,
who regularly maintained that the PLA was politically
indoctrinated and hence unfit to join the NA. The Indian
establishment supported this, seeing the NA as the force
that could check the expansion of Maoist power. No integration, calls to dismantle the YCL and return property
seized during the conflict became the NC's rallying cries.
This meant that while many in the NC were insisting that
the playing field could not be level as long as the Maoist
army existed, others were guaranteeing that no solutions
would be offered as to how the force should be dismantled.
After the election, as part ofthe negotiations to form the
government, select Nepal' s first president and declare the
country a republic, the parties signed a deal in June 2008
that committed the Maoists to completing I/R in six months.
It might have been sensible to start the process when the
party was leading the government, but Prachanda, when
he assumed office in August 2008, was dealing with a
deeply hostile NA.
General Katawal regularly commented on politics, opposed
integration and acted autonomously.21 Without political
support and pressure on the NA from other parties, forcing
integration might have provoked a confrontation.22 But
21 While briefing Prachanda in August 2008 after he became prime
minister, General Katawal reportedly set out a few options for
Maoist combatants that would be preferable to integration, including employment abroad, business, politics and education.
He maintains that position. Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu,
February 2011. Also see an interview conducted by Mikel
Dunham in April 2011, at Under
Katawal, the NA often defied the government, the Supreme
Court and the AMMAA. The NA insisted on opening recruitment (which the Maoists countered by doing the same) and reinstating retired personnel against cabinet's advice. Relations
soured to the extent that, in May 2009, Prachanda resigned as
prime minister when his dismissal of Katawal was overturned
by President Ram Baran Yadav. See Crisis Group Report, Nepal 's Future: In Whose Hands?, op. cit.
22 There was some pressure to move on I/R from UNMIN, however. Prachanda hastily announced formation of the constitutionally-mandated special committee in October 2008, days before UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was due to visit. Its
eight members include representatives from the UCPN(M),
NC, UML and Madhesi parties; it is headed by the prime minister. In 2010, the committee set up a technical committee with
membership from the parties, the NA, Nepal Police (NP), Armed
Police Force (APF) and PLA. This became the secretariat responsible for monitoring cantonments after UNMIN's departure. Substantive talks have taken place at both venues, especially in 2010 and 2011, but all parties acknowledge fundamental decisions will be taken at the highest political level.
traditional political actors and the Indian establishment
saw value in propping up the army, rather than using integration and subsequent reform as a way to make it more
accountable.23 Sections ofthe Madhesi Janadhikar Forum
(MJF), at the time the fourth largest party, enthusiastically
adopted the no integration line and many Madhesi actors
pushed their own important demand that the NA had to be
made more representative of Nepal's diverse population,
including through recruitment of a substantial number of
At the same time, the Maoist leadership was assuring the
PLA integration would happen on its terms.25 The constant negotiation between the party's ideological roots
and its new political iteration was evident at the Kharipati
national convention in November 2008. There was sharp
criticism ofthe party leadership's tendencies to revisionism
and bourgeois lifestyles, charges that would be echoed by
Maoist fighters who attended the 2010 Palungtar plenum.
Kiran insisted that the time was right for a people's revolt,
because although the party was in government, it was not
in control ofthe state. It therefore needed to exert greater
authority over the institutions of the state and entrench
23 This was despite many leaders in peace process talks, particularly from the NC, being wary ofthe NA. For example, G.P. Koirala resigned as prime minister in 2001, when the RNA by all
accounts refused to rescue police taken hostage during a Maoist
attack. But by 2009, a wide range of actors had begun to see the
utility ofthe NA's anti-Maoist stance and were not pro-active
on I/R. This courting ofthe army reached its zenith under Prime
Minister Nepal, when Defence Minister Bidhya Devi Bhandari
served the institution's interests well. See Crisis Group reporting, Nepal's Future; and Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, both op.
cit. This convergence of interests of the NA, sections of the
parties and the Indian establishment meant there could be no
meaningful debate on integration. It also had the perhaps unintended consequence of putting the NC permanently on the defensive and reactive on I/R. Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, July 2011.
24 There is considerable merit in the demand for the NA to be
more inclusive and representative, and greater recruitment of
Madhesis will remain on the agenda. But the sporadic manner
in which the issue has been raised - often at moments of political tension to tip the balance - has not helped. There are signs
the demand could be pushed in a more organised manner. In May
2011, Madhesi I/R negotiators, retired senior Madhesi security
force officers and political leaders met and decided to exert
consistent pressure on the issue. Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, July 2011.
25To address the PLA's strong reaction to the June 2008 deal
and reinforce the commanders' support for him ahead of Kharipati, Prachanda assured Maoist fighters he would seek the best
possible deal on integration for the largest number. There would
be "bulk" or "unit-wise" integration, and personnel would not
be required to meet the NA's standard norms. Among the Maoists' suggestions was the idea of a new, separate force to accommodate ex-PLA, though it was not always clear whether
this would include members ofthe other security forces.
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itself, to further the revolt.26 A new approach also emerged
on sequencing: integration and the new constitution were
to happen simultaneously; the PLA was to be the Maoists' guarantee that the other parties would not back out of
negotiating the new basic law.
B.   MAY 2009-FEBRUARY 2011
The period from when the UML-led coalition assumed
office in May 2009 until the change of government in
February 2011 was deeply unsatisfying, with a stalemate
on all fronts. Although the environment was very far from
conducive, then Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal was
quick to present a plan for integration within weeks of
taking office, offering the integration of up to 5,000 Maoist combatants into the security forces.27 In the meantime,
the Maoists' tactical priorities had changed. They were
not arguing for democratisation ofthe NA and integration.
Instead, until the end of 2009, they campaigned for "civilian supremacy", or democratic control ofthe army. The
party eventually moved away from talking about the NA28
26 This position is still held by a number of mid-level PLA commanders (though seemingly with less conviction). AtKharipati
in 2008, the party also altered its goal from a "federal democratic republic" to a "people's federal democratic republic", reasserting the party' s radical leftist aspirations. At the November
2010 Palungtar plenum, Prachanda was still attempting to
straddle the positions of Kiran and Baburam Bhattarai, who argued in contrast for "peace (I/R) and the constitution". Prachanda's
middle ground was to say peace and the constitution were priorities, and ifthe traditional parties and India were to sabotage
these, the UCPN(M) would have to revolt. See Crisis Group
Briefing, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op. cit.
27 The details of the plan suggested that there was no real expectation of a negotiation. There had been no consultation of
how the stages and their duration would be determined. These
would include presenting combatants with options and counselling; surveying combatants' choices; regrouping combatants;
preparing rehabilitation centres and training programs; and preparing accommodation, training and other facilities in the NA.
There was no explanation of when the integration process would
be "completed". Attached to the plan was also a proposed code
of conduct for the cantonments which, since it included such
measures as monitoring phone calls, was not acceptable to the
Maoists. Over the next eighteen months, many iterations were
floated, with ever-shortening timelines.
28 The Maoists now understand that the future of the PLA is,
other than for the combatants, primarily the concern of political
parties. Apart from sections of Kathmandu's civil society, there
is little or no public sentiment on integration, though support
could be generated for the NA on the democratisation question.
The NC leadership appears to misread the public appetite for
this issue. For example, at an NC rally in Dang district in May
2011, some senior leaders began speeches by noting to the distracted audience that the public lived in fear of the PLA and
launched into detail on the work ofthe special committee. The
gathering was not responsive. In private, NC leaders do say pub-
and instead courted anti-Indian public sentiment.29 In January-February 2010, the Maoists finally made good on a
long-standing commitment to dismiss from the cantonments
the 4,000-odd personnel disqualified during the verification process.
The party's other main priority was to unseat the Madhav
Nepal government, which happened in June 2010 as part
ofthe deal to extend the CA's term. In the months after
the prime minister resigned, Prachanda focused not only
on negotiating an alliance for government but also on narrowing differences on constitutional questions. From late
2010 until May 2011, issues thought to be deeply contentious, such as whether Nepal should have an executive
presidency, the numbers of states in the new federal republic and integration, began to be negotiated down from
positions of unbending principle. The question of democratisation ofthe NA increasingly took a back seat.
Both UML governments - Madhav Nepal's, which cornered the Maoists, and Khanal's, which has their support
- attempted to engage the NA. Both broached the subject
of reform or democratisation. Their approaches differed
considerably and demonstrated the potential impact of
governments and the power ofthe state even over an army
that is relatively autonomous. The strength ofthe NA's
self-protecting culture, particularly in the face of revolving-
door coalition politics, also became clear.
Prime Minister Nepal and his defence minister allowed
the NA to set the agenda.30 As a new chief of army staff
lie fear has lessened, and sections of the party are aware that
dissolving the CA is hardly the best way to urge disbanding the
PLA, and that they do not want to fight another election with
the PLA intact. Crisis Group interviews, Dang and Kathmandu,
May-June 2011.
29 This campaign, remnants of which were also visible in the
Maoists' May 2010 national shutdown, was particularly crude.
Widely distributed posters included one depicting India as a giant
boot coming down to crush Nepal. At a large rally in Kathmandu in December 2010, Prachanda criticised Indian interference, saying the Maoists would rather talk directly to the "real
bosses" than the Madhav Nepal government which he called a
puppet government. It had been widely acknowledged in private that the Madhav Nepal government's primary goal seemed
to be to sideline the Maoists and that it had India's blessing, but
few would state it so bluntly in public. Prachanda also seemed
to soften his attacks on the army, and repeated at this rally the
distinction he makes between the NA as a feudal institution and
its soldiers, who were made to fight their "brothers and sisters".
30 See Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op.
cit., for details of a democratisation proposal and a national security policy proposed by this government. The "democratisation" commitment is often wilfully misunderstood not to mean
enhanced civilian and democratic control, but that democratic
practices - all too easily parsed as chaos, ad hocism and rule-
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who had perhaps not expected to succeed General Katawal, General Chhatra Man Singh Gurung was initially
only too eager to please his political masters and to reassure his colleagues and New Delhi that he was a reliable
custodian ofthe NA's interests and traditional alliances.31
But by the middle of his term, he had begun to set his own
course as a moderate, very cautious progressive who was
open to the idea of controlled integration of Maoists.32
This gradual shift was bolstered by the Maoist-backed
Khanal government. Although negotiations on integration
will always be with the NC, Khanal's government demonstrated some willingness to act as the NA's supervisor.33
twisting - will prevail within the army, destroying its command
and control structures.
31 In the NA, promotions are tied tightly to the order in which
officers, even at the same rank, joined. See Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Future: In Whose Hands?, op. cit.
32 It has not been an easy ride for General Gurung. When he
first informally presented the plan in January 2011, the defence
minister and some army sources were quick to distance themselves from it, saying it did not represent the NA's view. The
motivation for that is unclear, whether the NA's role was to
have been more discreet, or some actors thought the army was
taking too liberal an approach with the Maoists. The proposal
was presented again, still unofficially, to Prime Minister Khanal and has become the basis for negotiation between the parties.
In the meantime, there have been tensions between the army
chief and the defence minister over the transfer of divisional
responsibilities between senior generals. "Ministry snubs NA
proposal", The Kathmandu Post, 9 January 2011. That said,
there is unlikely to be a better time for integration than the present. General Gurung retires in September 2012 and historically,
the CoAS's influence wanes in the second half of his tenure.
Crisis Group interviews, retired NA senior officers, Kathmandu,
February-April 2011. One view is that the NA's willingness to
accept integration now indicates increasing confidence. This
argument holds up to a point, but the NA also needs to protect
its institutional interests, including independence. It is not clear
whether its present openness to integration is part of a deal to
leave the NA relatively autonomous or grant it other concessions. For example, in June 2011, a defence ministry task force
in close collaboration with the NA presented a proposal to restructure the army. The proposal, whichhas not yet been passed
by the cabinet or debated in the legislature, calls for the creation of new posts, including two lieutenant generals, six major
generals and over a dozen brigadiers. The ministry was reportedly slow to accept the proposal because of disputes within the
NA over hierarchy and retirement dates. "Senama punarsam-
rachana game nirnaya", Annapurna Post, 21 June 2011; and
Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, May 2011.
33 For example, in July 2011, the parliamentary State Affairs
Committee directed the government to take over procurement
for NA peacekeeping missions and be reimbursed directly by
the UN. The same month, General Gurung answered questions
at the Public Accounts Committee on lack of transparency in
the Army Welfare Fund and the "Hindu character" ofthe army;
and at the State Affairs Committee on NA compliance with directions that it be more inclusive. "Govt told to procure for
They will probably never feel much warmth towards each
other, but the Maoists learned the difficulties of challenging the NA from the Katawal incident, and the NA has
benefited from not being kept battle-ready to take on its
former adversaries. The toning down of mutual mistrust
that has already taken place is about as much as can be
expected at this time.
Beyond the NA, other perceptions and dynamics now matter more, particularly those that drive the shifting political
trust deficit and balance of power. The PLA remains central to the Maoist party's politics, as it determines how
best to maximise its gains through I/R. Other parties have
struggled to understand the Maoists' internal dynamics
and where the party is going - whether the struggles are
genuine or a tactical ploy and whether the former rebels
actually want integration or not.34 But the internal power
struggles have played out for now; the party will resume
its coherent approach to integration, and Prachanda is empowered to take decisions. The NC's leadership struggle
will be significant, likewise whether any non-Maoist party
will be willing to go out on a limb and beyond the NA's
proposals to negotiate security sector questions.
peacekeeping missions", Republica, 5 July 2011; "No misuse
of welfare fund: NA", The Kathmandu Post, 11 July 2011.
34 A senior NC leader insisted that the troubles in the Maoist
party are all "drama", designed to help Prachanda negotiate a
better deal on integration. Crisis Group interview, New Delhi,
July 2011.
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1.    Ideology and image, strategy and tactics
The significance ofthe PLA for the party five years after
the ceasefire is difficult to gauge.35 In its present form, the
Maoist army appears to be of limited usefulness for the
UCPN(M). Its military importance has diminished steadily since 2006, and the party is not going back to war.36
The Maoist capacity for violence, in competition for local
resources and future elections, now lies elsewhere, such
as its unions and other partner organisations, the YCL,
and the new People's Volunteers Bureau.37 Yet, the Maoist army still has considerable symbolic and emotional
resonance in the party. It is a visible marker of history and
ideology, even if this ideology is being sublimated by the
party's embrace of multiparty democracy. Not to be attached to the army if one is in the party is to deny its role
in recent political changes and ignore the sacrifice and contribution of thousands to the transformation of Nepal.38
There are more direct implications forthe leadership too:
This section is based on Crisis Group in person, phone and
email interviews with some twenty Maoist combatants, including brigade, battalion and company commanders and ordinary
fighters, some dozen ex-combatants disqualified in 2010, journalists, international monitors and other cantonment workers,
Kathmandu, Chitwan, Surkhet, Banke, Sunsari, Jhapa, Panchthar, October 2010-June 2011.
36 It has taken the party time to separate its military and political
components. Some PLA commanders, particularly those with
the ability to raise money, used to be able to exert considerable
pressure on the party leadership. Now it is primarily leaders of
the party' s fraternal organisations that can do this. Crisis Group
interview, researcher, Kathmandu, March 2011. See also Crisis
Group Report, Nepal's Political Rites of Passage, op. cit.
37 The YCL has been relatively quiet since 2010, and the role
and influence ofthe People's Volunteers Bureau is still unclear.
But these groups and the Maoist unions are vital party tools, in
closer daily contact with its organisation, political competitors
and the public than the Maoist army.
38 In the party, it is not only Kiran's faction and Prachanda who
voice such sentiments. Baburam Bhattarai, for example, wrote
recently that it would be impossible to conclude the peace process ifthe PLA's historic role, perseverance and martyrdom were
minimised. "Sena samayojankajatilta", Naya Patrika, 28 June
2011. This is a difficult sell. The Maoists had demanded that
the "people's war" and "PLA" be mentioned in the preamble to
the new constitution. In May 2011, a task force formed to resolve disputes over constitutional issues, headed by Prachanda,
decided not to do so. The negotiated name, Constitution of Nepal, also does not refer to any of the changes in the last five
years, such as the republic and commitment to federalism.
combatants speak of being "humiliated" and unwilling to
accept much more.39
Forthe so-called hardliners, the revolution is not over yet,
though they are unclear about whether and how the PLA
will be used again.40 But while keeping the PLA intact
maintains the fiction that full-scale revolt and confrontation are still possible, in the insistence of Kiran and others
that I/R must not resemble "surrender" is tacit acceptance
that the army will be disbanded relatively soon.41
The much-publicised ideological differences between
Kiran, who has been pushing for "revolt", and Prachanda
and Bhattarai, who argue forthe "peace and constitution"
line, matter, but perhaps less than other issues.42 Kiran and
Bhattarai seemed like unnatural allies, but after the May
2011 extension ofthe CA, they shared the goal of breaking
Prachanda's stranglehold on decision-making, organisational matters and interaction with the parliamentary system. Kiran's faction was also keen to be better represented
in the government.43 The power struggle was, therefore,
Some of this has to do with language; non-Maoist actors have
often said integration would "contaminate" the NA. The disparagement and humiliation faced by some discharged combatants
is also a factor. The PLA and families of those who were killed
or disappeared in the war often criticise the party leadership for
using fighters' futures as a bargaining chip and sometimes warn
of retaliation. Maoist and other publications have recently carried
numerous opinion pieces by combatants, for example, "Prachanda
kamredlai shivirko patra", Jana Aastha, 20 April 2011; and
"Phutbadlai hamro aanganma thaun chhaina: Ek shahid patniko
Perisdandalai patra", LalRakshyak, 26 June 2011. See also Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op. cit.
40 A "people's revolt" is often noted as the next possible stage
in the Maoist revolution. This is generally explained as urban-
centric; mobilisation for it would be fundamentally different
from a guerrilla war, which needed the PLA and militias.
41 The Maoists' rationale for the alliance with the mainstream
parties and subsequent peace process rested on conclusions that
have not altered: that a military victory was impossible and also
undesirable, ifthe party wanted to notjust gain, but retain power;
that international conditions were not favourable for Maoist
state capture; and that traditional communist models would not
work in Nepal. See Crisis Group Reports, Nepal's Maoists:
Their Aims, Structure and Strategy; andNepal 'sMaoists: Purists or Pragmatists, both op. cit. The party has now expanded
its networks of organisations and resources considerably and
derives much strength from them. This does not mean PLA personnel, weapons and symbolism will not continue to be used in
other debates and struggles.
42 See Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op.
cit., for an outline of differences in the party.
43 Prachanda is UCPN(M) chairman, its parliamentary leader,
de facto head of its organisation department and, despite sporadic
contrary announcements, supreme commander of the PLA.
Bhattarai, who might have been the natural choice, was not
made leader of the parliamentary party in 2008. In the party's
2011 restructuring, his claim to that position was still declined,
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about personal ambitions and animosities and re-negotiating management and control ofthe party's expanding
corporate interests.44
Integration was part of this broader negotiation. The Maoists' reversion after May 2011 to a hard line on integration - that integration of whole units must take place and
that there could be no imposition on combatants of the
NA's standard norms for specific positions - matched
Kiran's ideological line. But stalling inter-party negotiations was as much about winning points in the internal
power struggles ofthe UCPN(M) as itwas about forcing
Prachanda to negotiate a good deal for the PLA.
Prachanda's bids forthe position of prime minister from
2010 to early 2011 were criticised by various sections of
the party that felt he would compromise or make unilateral
decisions on substantive issues, including constitutional
matters, in order to consolidate his position in the national
political sphere, while still maintaining tight control over
the Maoist party.
These factors lead some in the Maoist army to fear that
they will get a bad deal.45 Prachanda's competitors inside
the party and his critics outside know that without him
there can be no agreement. He could give the impression
of bargaining hard with the other parties and since I/R
is not the only significant issue for the party, Prachanda
could continue to lead the constitution-drafting process and,
but he did gain party support to be prime minister in the next
Maoist-led government. His bid for both positions was not only
about recognition; the parliamentary leader can potentially
challenge the chairman for party leadership. As the NC demonstrates, the division of decision-making authority between two
power centres can make it difficult to negotiate effectively with
other parties. Kiran, though nominally head ofthe powerful organisation department, lacked executive authority. He was given
that, but the change does not guarantee key party organisers
will shift loyalty from Prachanda to him. It is too early to say
how General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa "Badal's" elevation to PLA chief will play. His shifting alliances, support across
factions and close ties with many commanders are significant,
but Prachanda's hold over the Maoist army is unlikely to be
loosened before decisions are made on its future. Crisis Group
interviews, Kathmandu, June-July 2011. The distribution of
ministries was fractious for the Maoists, who took five months
to fill all allotted cabinet and state minister berths after the government was formed. In July 2011, when the party' s representation was re-negotiated to be more representative ofthe various
factions, Prachanda had to contend with a prime minster reluctant to reshuffle the cabinet. He agreed, but not before he had
threatened to resign and the Maoists to withdraw their support.
44 See Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op. cit.
45 The Maoists are being offered 7,000-8,000 spots in the NA
and could try for a few thousand more in the police or paramilitary. Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, July 2011. These figures
are double what Prachanda claims Koirala had promised him.
speedily narrowing differences with other parties, show
that a new constitution, a major goal ofthe Maoist movement, is still attainable. Despite occasional criticism, PLA
commanders are fiercely loyal to him. But he will have to
finesse any I/R deal - the PLA's aspirations may have
been disregarded when the party stopped talking about the
merger of two armies, but the best interests of individual
combatants cannot be dismissed so easily. They will have
consequences for future challenges to Prachanda's authority. Factionalism has already become disruptive, and the
compromises made by Maoist leaders in the constitution-
drafting process could further erode Prachanda's reputation of being able to get things done.46
Some ofthe strongly-held positions of PLA commanders
and Kiran, for example that integrated personnel be given
combat responsibilities and not be subj ect to standard NA
norms for recruitment, have already been under negotiation.47 These arguments are being mobilised in internal
power struggles, but it would be a mistake to assume that
there can automatically be a deal just because ministries
are divided up better or a particular candidate becomes
prime minister. All these inter-related goals are moving
2.    What combatants think
Navigating the demands of the combatants is a difficult
task. The party-PLA relationship has been redefined since
the CA elections, and among the rank and file, as well as
lower-level officers, there is criticism ofthe party's role and
the leaders' working style. The leadership has increasingly
distanced itself from the bulk ofthe PLA and relies on the
commanders as conduits to relay information on party po-
For example, though a presidential system was a key Maoist
demand, the parties now seem ready to agree to a semi-presidential
system. The outcome of the federalism negotiations is unpredictable, and Prachanda has said the number of states is negotiable. He is not the only Maoist leader on board with some of
these compromises. A senior party member close to Bhattarai
said, "the outstanding issues of the constitution - federalism,
forms of governance, electoral systems - are not ideological in
nature. Nothing in Marxism or Leninism or Maoism stops us
from negotiating them". Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu,
June 2011. While they might not be ideological, these decisions
will determine how state power is structured. That matters to
the Maoists as much as ideology. The perception of compromise
needs to be limited, as cadres and factions in the UCPN(M) will
look closely at decisions on constitutional issues. Crisis Group
interviews, Kathmandu, June 2011. See also Crisis Group Reports, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op. cit; andN°199, Nepal:
Identity Politics and Federalism, 13 January 2011.
47 Combatants have often argued strongly that "I will not have
my chest measured". They may just have to settle instead for the
NA and NC's mild relaxation of age and education requirements. Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, June 2011.
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sitions. There have been few, if any, visits to cantonments
by senior leaders: the last ones of note were in early 2010
for the discharge and then January 2011 for the ceremonial handover ofthe Maoist army to the government.48
Some commanders are too old for a career in the NA, and
some may have a lower level of education than perhaps
even relaxed standards would require. Many are said to have
given up the idea that there might be, for example, a post
at the rank of major general in the NA available to them.49
After signing the CPA, the party changed its war-time system,
in which units had both a military commander and a commissar,
with the latter being the higher authority. Since then, military
issues have been controlled by the PLA general staff meeting.
Prachanda continued as the PLA's supreme commander and
Nanda Kishore Pun "Pasang" was commander for day-to-day
purposes. In 2010, Prachanda announced he would no longer
head the PLA and that Pasang would be commander, though
this change appears not to have happened. Parallel to the general staff meeting is the security, or military and integration bureau, that provided political leadership. This too was headed by
Prachanda, with Barsha Man Pun "Ananta" the "in-charge" under him. Party decisions are communicated through these bodies. After the CA election, the military bureau has increasingly
worked on integration issues, and there has been little, if any
political training in the cantonments in recent years. Yet, combatants have reportedly undergone regular military training, including in "urban revolt", presumably because of Maoist thinking that urban uprising may be necessary if the other parties
abandon the C A or peace process framework. Party organograms
show under Prachanda in the general staff meeting four deputy
commanders (Pasang, Ananta, Chandra Prakash Khanal "Bal-
dev" and Janardan Sharma "Prabhakar"), the seven division
commanders and the commander for headquarters security. In
the military or security bureau, below Prachanda and Ananta
are: Pasang, Prabhakar, Baldev, Third Division Commander
Dhan Bahadur Maskey "Rajesh", Fourth Division Commander
Tej Bahadur Oli "Prateek" and First Division Commander
Santu Darai "Parwana". Badal has been appointed head of a
new commission to oversee the PLA. But the chain of command is still under Pasang and it is not clear whether Badal is
meant to replace Prachanda and the commission to replace the
general staff meeting. Organisationally, the military-party division may be clear cut, but the party needs to negotiate the systemic links, and many individuals' careers clearly overlap. The
complex relationships between many army and party leaders
are not reflected in diagrams ofthe party's broad factional divides, making predictions difficult. Crisis Group interviews,
June-July 2011.
49 The integration of a few senior Maoist commanders into the
NA at relatively high levels has not been seriously negotiated
yet, but could happen, perhaps up to the rank of colonel. Crisis
Group interview, July 2011. Also see, JeetendraDev, "Juggling
twin priorities", The Kathmandu Post, 27 July 2011. The PLA
has seven divisions, each headed by a division commander.
Three brigades make a division; three battalions a brigade; three
companies a battalion; three platoons a company; and three sections a platoon. Each unit has a commander and a vice commander. There are 364 commanders and 364 vice commanders
Some are already members of decision-making bodies,
others are certain that they can be accommodated in party
structures, such as the state or district committees.50
The brigade and battalion commanders present a more
complex picture. Their prospects in the NA would seem
better - many are relatively young, some are educated up
to the high school level. Yet, they are strangers to the system and its networks and are unlikely to gain more formal
education.51 More significantly, serving in the NA might
not be the best personal choice. They would be unable
to function as political actors, probably never attain the
status or rank they had in the Maoist army, and would be
thrust into a potentially discriminatory environment. Although the UCPN(M) is not making any promises, mid-
level commanders could have greater access to prestige,
influence and income through the party. This group is close
to the party, though, and many are likely to do as they are
told. But others might make demands on rank that the party
cannot meet, and so opt out of integration.
The confidence ofthe senior commanders is not reflected
at lower levels. Many, especially those below company
commander, and the rank-and-file are uncertain whether
the conditions oftheir entry into the security forces will
be negotiated as hard as for more senior personnel. As
with mid-level commanders, their reasons for joining the
war and their aspirations vary considerably. For some, the
war is not over, or they see themselves as a backup force
in a division. (The Seventh Division is structured somewhat
differently, with fewer commanders at the lower levels.)
50 Six ofthe eight senior commanders are central committee members; the other two are state committee members. The party has
grown considerably since 2008. The central committee went
from 35 to 146 members. The state committees became larger,
as did the number and size of fraternal organisations such as
unions. There could be many reasons: accommodating new entrants as the party built broad alliances; unification with the
small left party, Ekata Kendra-Masal in 2009; and perhaps
gradually accommodating PLA personnel in politics. Over
1,100 commanders attended the 2010 Palungtar plenum, compared with some 220 at Kharipati in 2008. Until the 2005
Chunbang plenum, the PLA had three divisions, each headed
by a commissar and a commander, under whom was a deputy.
All except one commander (Pasang) entered mainstream politics and are now standing committee members. Each division
had three brigades, headed by commissars and commanders.
Many present division commanders and some deputies are
drawn from this group. Two brigade commissars, Top Bahadur
Rayamajhi "Anil" and Ganeshman Pun "Rashmi", have high-
profile national political and party careers. PLA rank does not
always reflect political influence; lower-ranking officers may
have joined the party before the army and so be powerful. Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, June-July 2011.
51 Crisis Group interview, retired army general, Kathmandu,
April 2011.
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to defend the party from possible conspiracies.52 Others
think that if transformation ofthe state is not possible, at
least they personally can get a better life. Still others say
they feel a sharp sense of betrayal and frustration, as if
they have wasted valuable years and now cannot trust the
leadership to deliver on its promises.53
Some fighters acknowledge the disjuncture between their
means, goals and actual outcome. Many, themselves just
out of childhood when the war began, now have children
oftheir own.54 "I don't want my son to fight in a war",
a seasoned mid-level commander said. "I cherish my life
because I was lucky enough to have survived the war".55
Another said, "I am a Maoist. At that time we had no choice
but to fight, but now conditions are different. We have to
think about our evolution".56
The rising frustration among the combatants has been contained so far, but patience appears to be wearing thin.57
This does not automatically mean a revolt against the leadership. Given the reportedly high rate of absenteeism from
the cantonments, it is more likely that fighters will for now
simply continue to work outside or for the party, while
still holding on to the diminishing status and prospects for
52 Many signed up convinced by the agenda of the Maoist movement, others were forcibly conscripted. Some participated in
armed combat, while others were cooks, porters and runners.
Still others were loosely affiliated with Maoist militias. Some
were in leftist student politics in their mid-teens. Such youths
were at risk of detention and so some joined the PLA or a militia. The end ofthe war and promises of integration were an opportunity, especially for PLA personnel who might not have been
full-time. Particularly for women, going back to their villages
without a party-supported safety net was not an option. Crisis
Group interviews, former and current Maoist combatants, researcher, April-May 2011. For an account of a commander's
experience of joining the war and disillusionment in the cantonments, see Khagendra Sangraula, "Kamandarka angsuko
katha", Kantipur/Koseli, 23 July 2011.
53 In conversations with some PLA members and observers close
to the Maoists, the relegation to second place of rank-and-file
concerns is striking, particularly in comparison to the strong
awareness of what should be negotiated for commanders.
"They are mostly uneducated and very poor. They don't pose a
problem, and many won't choose the NA ifthe cash packages
are good", a researcher noted. This might be right, but it also
means that the PLA elite has set the agenda in I/R negotiations.
Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, June 2011.
54 Of the 3,846 women combatants, 50 per cent are estimated
to have children. Deepak Gywali,"Adhikangsa ladaku mahila
'ayogya", Rajdhani, 14 June 2010. Obviously, PLA men have
also had children with partners not in the army.
55 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, May 2011.
56 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, June 2011.
57 A commander wrote: "We want our issue [integration] to be
resolved quickly. Our stay in these de facto jails [cantonments]
should not be prolonged". See also "Kyantonmenka kehi kura"
and "Kamandarko angsuko katha", both op. cit.
improved livelihood that being a combatant confers. Well-
informed supporters ofthe Maoist party, researchers and
journalists who have followed the movement closely, and
some limited surveys suggest that many may not want to
continue in military life.58 Ifthe retirement package or rehabilitation options are attractive enough, they may want
to live as civilians.
B. The Nepal Army
The Maoist combatants and politicians as a class are anathema to much ofthe traditional NA establishment, though
there is now acceptance that some former combatants have
to be accommodated. The NA's proposal, though presented
unofficially, has framed the detailed negotiations. While
re-calibrating the NA's reputation for obstructing the
peace process, it also re-affirms its status as the only real
army in Nepal. Further, it seeks to ensure that integration
takes place entirely on the army's terms, a far cry from
the Maoists' initial expectation of integration of a professionalised PLA into a democratised NA.
The army has consistently argued that the absorption of
large numbers of Maoist combatants would jeopardise the
organisation's professional and apolitical nature. Many
independent observers and some from the institution itself
would dismiss this characterisation ofthe NA. Yet, the
generals' fear of subversion is real. This is not only because ex-combatants could foment rebellion if integrated
in groups or that individuals who are integrated might turn
out to be troublemakers. There is already some resentment
among soldiers who feel there is an unnecessarily large
gap between how they are treated compared with the officer corps, and a perception that not all officers had been
willing to share in the risks ofthe war.59 There is also a
mismatch between the increasing military budget and slow
A journalist wrote that 50 per cent ofthe PLA is willing to
accept rehabilitation packages. Between 25 to 30 per cent will
be integrated into the security forces or enter politics, depending on the party's wishes; only around 15 per cent still believe
in war. Chudamani Bhattarai, "Senako naya sarta", Nepal, 22
May 2011. According to a survey by Saferworld, 60 per cent of
combatants said when interviewed individually that they were
willing to become civilians ifthe rehabilitation packages were
attractive. "Common ground? Gendered assessment ofthe needs
and concerns of Maoist army combatants for rehabilitation and
integration", Saferworld, November 2010, p. 23. A senior Maoist journalist said around 70 per cent of the PLA preferred not
to join the security forces. A long-term researcher said that the
rank-and-file in particular would decide based on how much
cash was on offer and the value of the rehabilitation packages.
Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, May-June 2011.
59 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, February 2011. See also,
for example, General Ranadhoj Anguhang Limbu, "Lessons of
War - 2", The Kathmandu Post, 24 February 2009.
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improvement in conditions for soldiers.60 Finally, many
Maoist combatants and NA rank-and-file come from similar backgrounds. Some combination of these factors could
on occasion lead to small, localised incidents of challenging the chain of command.61
These fears should spur the NA's leadership to prepare
for some tough reform, but five years after the ceasefire
any changes being proposed are still only cosmetic. The
number of soldiers almost doubled between 2003 and
2006,62 while the defence budget quadrupled between
2001 and 2011,63 There is not enough space in barracks,
and approximately 40 per cent of soldiers still live in wartime forward operating bases.64 The proposed democratisation plan is inadequate, and the NA still insists that it is
representative, inclusive and non-discriminatory despite
overwhelming evidence that it is not.65
Still, despite its protestations about "contamination" of
the institution and the havoc "politically indoctrinated"
combatants could wreak, the NA is relatively confident
of its ability to deal with the integrated personnel. The
judgment is that the Maoists are unlikely to be able to ex-
60 NA salaries at all ranks and grades are tied to the civil service
scale. The budget for FY 2011/2012 raises salaries by between
30 and 43 per cent. But conditions for the security forces are
not always easy, and professional development options at lower
levels are limited.
61 See Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op.
cit, for an incident in early 2011.
62 The NA has 90,000 personnel and some 5,000 vacancies that
it will probably begin to fill. Once the cantonments start emptying, the NA and some politicians are likely to argue that this
signals an end to the restrictions on the army. During the war,
the NA recruited and trained soldiers very quickly. Crisis Group
interview, Kathmandu, June 2011. The start of NA downsizing
need not be a dramatic political decision - a simple voluntary
retirement process could set the ball rolling.
63 Since 2001, the defence ministry budget has risen every year
except two, fromRs.4.52 billion (approximately $60.13 million)
in FY 2001/2002, to Rs.10.9 billion (approximately $164.05
million) in FY 2005/2006, the last wartime budget, to Rs.20.01
billion (approximately $274.86 million) in FY 2011/2012, figures from finance ministry. This is approximately 5.25 percent
of Nepal's total budget. The AMMAA prohibits the NA from
buying weapons or munitions. The army also controls its Rs. 16
billion (approx. $216 million) Army Welfare Fund and accounts separately for earnings and spending related to peacekeeping missions. Funds can also be allocated to the NA through
line ministries and departments to which it provides services,
such as Forest and Soil Conservation (protection of national
parks) and Information and Communication (protection of telecommunication installations).
64 See Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op.
cit. However, more permanent shelters are being constructed
every year.
65 Ibid.
ploit existing discontent in any significant manner.66 In
addition, the NA proposal for integration would contain
ex-Maoist fighters within one directorate, where they would
be outnumbered by old NA hands and personnel absorbed
from the Armed Police Force and Nepal Police. Some PLA
combatants say they are keen to prove that they are proper
military men and not a rag-tag guerrilla army and so will
respect the chain of command.67
The treatment of integrated combatants in the NA could
pose some risks. Some hazing and snideness is inevitable,
but the NA leadership recognises that former Maoist combatants must not be demeaned or aggressively sidelined.68
NA chief General Gurung might have opened up the space
for integration, but how decisions taken now play out will
depend on his successor.69 It will take some months, if not
more than a year, for the Maoist combatants to go through
various training courses after a deal is made, and Gurung
is due to retire in September 2012. If successive governments continue to ask slightly discomfiting questions, as
various committees under Prime Minister Khanal tried
to do, the next chief will be balancing integration and attempts to make the army more accountable and responsive.
He, like Gurung, will have to balance personal inclinations,
internal NA rivalries and networks and accommodations
reached with individual politicians.
The apprehension about "democratisation" ofthe army is
explained in terms ofthe generals priding themselves on
their independence from politicians.70 This is contrasted
with senior police officers, who have to bow to the parties.
From a disinterested perspective, it is clear that the NA
enjoys notjust independence from corrupt politicians, but
Some retired senior NA officers say Maoists tried to infiltrate
the RNA during the war. A few intelligence breaches notwithstanding, they did not significantly affect command and control. Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, June-July 2011.
67 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, June 2011.
68 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, July 2011.
69It is too early to judge Gurung's legacy. He is the first chief
of army staff in the institution's almost 250-year history from a
historically marginalised indigenous or janajati group, and
might be expected to agree the NA needs to represent better the
population it serves and that personnel from historically marginalised groups need fairer opportunities. Yet, he is also bound
by his institution's culture, code and interests. Although he assented to amendment ofthe Army Act to increase representation of Madhesis, in keeping with the May 2011 agreement, there
has been no discussion of whether, once there are more Madhesis in the army, they will be integrated with personnel from
other communities, rather than isolated in their own units, and
whether they will be allowed to serve in the infantry with other
"martial" groups, rather than restricted to engineering and similar non-combat duties. Crisis Group interview, April 2011.
70 "When we go to meet politicians, we never smile", said a retired general. Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, April 2011.
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Page 14
independence in general.71 There is a barely-there defence
ministry, an ineffective national security council and state
affairs and parliamentary accounts committees that do not
push on difficult questions of transparency, accountability
and reform.72 It is not surprising that the NA fights hard
to keep its corner.
The Maoist party and PLA leadership might know approximately how many people they can move into the various
options - integration, rehabilitation, and political work or
"voluntary retirement", but it is difficult for others to
determine combatants' actual preferences and qualifications. There is no officially available record of how many
and which combatants have been in the PLA at various
times and what they have been doing since 2007, and
possibly no record the party would be willing to share.73
Limited information about the background, qualifications
and aspirations of combatants is available to non-Maoist
actors, including international agencies, which puts them
at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiations and planning for the support they are being asked to provide.74
1.    The proposal
The proposal the NA presented first to Prime Minister
Nepal on 15 January 2011 and then to Khanal, his successor, on 29 March marks a clear departure from the army's
earlier line, which opposed any integration.75 Although it
Few look closely at the NA. Informally, interlocutors in the
press and in banks, for example, mention irregularities in procurement and in the handling of peacekeeping remittances. Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, February, March July 2011.
But there are rarely any substantiated and well-documented investigations in the media. For recent allegations of corruption
in the NA levelled by NA officers themselves, see " Senako gu-
har rakshyamantrile sunlan?", Sanghu, 8 August 2011. The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has
been very active in investigating and taking action against even
senior police officers, but in keeping with the CIAA Act, it
cannot investigate a number of institutions and actions, including the NA, cabinet decisions, constitutional bodies, courts and
NGOs. Crisis Group interview, via telephone, CIAA official,
Kathmandu, August 2011.
72 Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, May 2011.
The question of how many combatants remain in the cantonments full time is valid. There has clearly been attrition over the
years. There are reports, including from PLA personnel, that
some verified fighters left within months of entering. In private,
the party admits to outsiders that there are only 13,000-14,500
fighters still in the cantonments, but estimates of sources close
to the party are even lower. Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, February and June 2011. As the discharge process
showed, however, lower numbers of people physically in the
camps now does not mean that many will not return for the I/R
process, with its promises of training, cash and possibly entry
into the NA.
74UNDP and the government have the information collected
during verification. But exact numbers and the change in personal details are difficult to ascertain, as the Maoist army has
been hesitant to allow outsiders, whether the peace and reconstruction ministry (which houses the cantonment management
committee), UNMIN (whose remit was to monitor the weapons
containers), the World Bank (which initially was to reimburse
the government for combatants' salaries) or the German aid
agency Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit or GIZ
(which runs skills training and education classes in the camps)
to do a reliable headcount or systematically update information
related to combatants. Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu,
February-May 2011.
75 This section is based primarily on Chudamani Bhattarai, "Senako naya sarta", op. cit; Bhojraj Bhat, "Nayakolte", op. cit;
"Rastriya bikas tatha surakshya mahanirdesanalaya", Mahima
National Weekly, 2 June 2011; and Crisis Group interviews,
Kathmandu, March, June and July 2011. See also Crisis Group
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Page 15
may have originated with the NA, the army is staying in
the background in negotiations. The NC will probably
negotiate in line with the proposal.76
The proposal suggests integration of Maoist combatants
into a new NA directorate, the Office of the Director
General of Security and National Development.77 35 per
cent ofthe personnel would be drawn from among former
Maoist army combatants, 35 per cent from the NA, and
15 per cent each from the Nepal Police and the Armed
Police Force (APF). Its mandate would include development work, disaster management, industrial security and
wildlife protection.78 The NA appears to have left the size
ofthe directorate (and thus the number of Maoist personnel to be integrated) up to the political actors, but taken a
hard line on standards.79
Former Maoist combatants would need to fulfil a number
of requirements to be integrated at all and these criteria
will also play a role in determining rank. These are:
Human rights vetting. Combatants accused of violating
national and international human rights law will be ineligible for integration. Regardless of whether Maoist army
personnel meet all other criteria, this provision ultimately
determines entry. The assessment would be made based
on records and reports ofthe National Human Rights Commission, the UN's human rights office, the army's own
human rights cell and the Nepal Police. Anyone found to
have killed unarmed people or to have killed in underhand ways would also be ineligible.
Physical requirements. Combatants must meet the minimum requirements set out for the NA.
Medical fitness. Combatants would have to pass medical
Education. Level of formal education would be one factor determining rank at integration. There could be flexibility of one school grade for some posts.80
Briefing, Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, op. cit. The army developed the model of a mixed force in a separate directorate as
one of five possible scenarios as early as 2008. In light of General Katawal's rigid anti-integration line, it was never discussed
publicly. Crisis Group interview, retired NA officer, Kathmandu, March 2011.
76 Crisis Group interview, NC leader, Kathmandu, June 2011.
77 Presently there are eleven directorates in the NA, and other
offices and wings, like the military police or offices for operations or logistics, etc.
78Chudamani Bhattarai, "Senako naya sarta", op. cit.
79Bhojraj Bhat, "Nayakolte", op. cit.
80 Officers recruited into the NA as second lieutenants must have
passed high school (twelfth grade or intermediate level) and
should be eighteen to 21 years of age. Crisis Group interview,
Years of service. The maximum time a combatant can
have served would be sixteen years, from the start ofthe
war to the present. (This time frame was chosen to maximise combatants' pensions.) A PLA brigade commander,
even if he met all other standards, would not satisfy the
length of service requirement to be a brigadier general in
the NA.81
Age. The NA would be able to accept combatants at various levels up to ten years older than the normal cut-off for
recruitment to these positions.
Military know-how. Combatants would have to demonstrate field-craft, appropriate use of weapons, etc.
Most combatants are unlikely to be integrated at the same
rank they held in the Maoist army. The directorate is to be
headed by a lieutenant general or major general, which
would rule out any former PLA commander being eligible
for the position for the next few years.82 In keeping with
the proportions currently in the NA, for every 1,000 former
Maoist combatants integrated, there would be ten posts of
major and 170 of captains and second lieutenants. Combatants would have to go through bridge training courses
for up to two years both to bring them in line with NA
practice and standards and to re-orient them ideologically.
The rank of integrated Maoist combatants would be adjusted according to their previous rank, level of education
and length of service. Going by the service period requirement alone, the highest rank the NA is willing to integrate
Maoist combatants at is maj or. Prospects for promotion do
not seem to be addressed explicitly, but can be expected
to depend on standard rules, including years of service,
completion of courses and the like. Budgetary support for
Nepal Army officer, Kathmandu, July 2011. Many combatants
have used cantonment time well. A few thousand have taken
adult education classes; many have passed the School Leaving
Certificate (SLC), and the number of functionally illiterate in
the Maoist army has dropped dramatically, by one estimate from
over 1,000 to under 100. Now, about 17 per cent have the tenth
grade SLC, while 41 per cent have completed lower secondary
school (grade 8), and 33 per cent have a primary school education. "Skills development activities: the journey continues
GIZ, March 2011.
81A new recruit (second lieutenant) becomes a lieutenant on completion ofthe initial training course. Lieutenants must complete
two further courses (Commando and Young Officers' Services)
to qualify as captains; this usually takes four to five years. Majors must have eight years of service, though this can be modified; during the insurgency, captains who had been in combat
were promoted quicker. Colonels must have 22 years of service.
To become a brigadier general and above, one must complete
Staff or War College. Promotion to Brigadier is also awarded
on completion ofthe NA's course on administering a division.
Crisis Group interview, NA officer, Kathmandu, July 2011.
82 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, May 2011.
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the proposed directorate will largely be drawn from line
ministries, not the overall defence budget.83
2.    Red lines, negotiables and hazards
There is unlikely to be a model for integration that simultaneously keeps the Maoist combatants and the NA happy,
protects the interests ofthe state and assists in the long-
term project of reforming the NA. Some issues will be
easier to solve than others.
New directorate. The proposed new directorate would
contain personnel from all security forces and is acceptable to the Maoists, who had for some time insisted that
their fighters be integrated into a "new force".84 The other
parties were unwilling to agree, for fear that the Maoists
would have a fifth column within the apparatus of the
state. The NA has apparently assessed that this is the best
way to separate the Maoist combatants from the main body
ofthe army and keep an eye on them. How many PLA to
integrate is not a make or break issue, although the proportions from the various bodies in the directorate will
certainly be discussed.
The other parties assume, possibly rightly, that unlike
with the police and APF, it will be much harder for the
Maoists to use their presence in the NA to influence local
politics. The broad assumption seems to be that integration will take place into the NA, though it is still possible
that the Maoists could start lobbying for integration into
the police and paramilitary too, if rank, for example, can
be more easily negotiated there.85
If the proposed mandate is accepted by the parties, then the
budget for NA support to infrastructure construction would come
from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works; to rescue
and relief operations from the Home Ministry, district development committees, and various metropolitan and city bodies;
to industrial security from the Ministry of Industry; and for forest guards from the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation.
The rest will be released directly by the Ministry of Finance.
Crisis Group interview, via email, August 2011.
84In 2010, Ananta enumerated the Maoists' preferred alternatives for integration. The best option was a new force (entirely
former PLA), with special responsibilities including but not limited to industrial, highway, border and national park security.
This was seen as easiest for the existing security forces, which
could be reformed separately, without disruption. Another idea
was integration of PLA units into the NA, APF and NP. A third
was a force with equal numbers of ex-Maoists and personnel
from existing security forces. Barsha Man Pun, Ananta',
"Nepalma sena samay oj an", Rato Jhilko, April-September 2010.
85 The NC negotiators, who often cite the terms ofthe peace deal,
which provide for integration "into the security forces according to standard norms", appear to have given up on the police
and armed police. The non-Maoist parties are right to be concerned about what former PLA might be able to do in the NP
Mandate. This will be a hard negotiation. The UCPN(M)
wants to be part of a combat force, armed, trained to engage and ready to be deployed. The NA is firm that that is
precisely what the new directorate will not be. Some army
activities are more attractive or prestigious than others -
peacekeeping is an obvious one, but security of national
parks is also coveted.86 Ifthe Maoists raise the possibility
of integration into the APF or NP, the non-Maoist parties
may have to re-visit their total acceptance ofthe NA proposal and their exclusive focus on integration into the NA.
They will have to ask whether it is better for former Maoist combatants to be armed and in the infantry (and thus
largely confined to barracks), or to be carrying out policing
functions that involve interacting with local communities,
or to be responsible for something like industrial security.87
The Maoists will have to decide which is most important
to them - the mandate their ex-combatants will be entrusted
with, where they are integrated, or the highest rank they
will get.
Rank. Harmonisation of ranks will be contested and, if
not resolved to the combatants' reasonable satisfaction,
potentially become a source of tension or conflict within
the NA. Combatants say that this is about recognition of
their military capability in a war they did not lose, and is
part ofthe symbolic acknowledgement many grudge the
Maoists. Some commanders do understand the limitations
posed by their education, for example, but think a solution
can be found, particularly by asking for very few senior
posts in each ofthe security forces, rather than all in the
NA.88 Similarly, the UCPN(M) will fight the leadership
question hard, although it is possible it will be placated
by the promise of a former Maoist combatant being the
deputy head ofthe directorate.89
Unit-wise or individual integration. The proposal is silent
on whether there would be integration of units, such as
companies or battalions, that would stay intact within the
NA. Forthe Maoists it would be a kind of insurance policy, should their ex-combatants be treated in a hostile manner; for the other parties, it would seem partly to defeat
and APF. Both institutions are subject to manipulation and
misuse by political parties; integration could boost the Maoists'
influence. See Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Political Rites of
Passage, op. cit.
86 Former Maoist fighters who may want to participate in peacekeeping missions should be subject to the same vetting procedures the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations applies
to NA personnel, particularly nominees for command positions.
87 Entrepreneurs and manufacturers, having been shaken down
hard by the UCPN(M) and its unions for some years, will
doubtless be bitter at poachers turning into gamekeepers, ifthe
directorate is tasked with industrial security.
88 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, July 2011.
89 Some in the NC are reportedly open to this idea. Crisis Group
interview, Kathmandu, July 2011.
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the purpose of integration, allowing potentially dangerous
groups that could destabilise the NA to remain intact. A
compromise might be to informally allow smaller groups
of former PLA, say four to six, to stay together.90
Finding candidates from the existing security forces interested in joining the new directorate might be difficult,
particularly ifthe unit is designed to be as harmless as
possible and closed to activities such as peacekeeping.
When the APF was formed in 2001, personnel from the
NA and police were offered promotions if they joined the
new force.
Vetting. The NA's insistence on vetting Maoist personnel
to be integrated for human rights abuses is ironic, given
its own resistance to such proposals from the UN for deployment to peacekeeping operations.91 It will be resisted
hard by the Maoists, not least because it would be very
difficult to impose similar standards for serving NA personnel, though there could perhaps be some limits on
promotions and deployment to peacekeeping operations.
There will have to be detailed agreements on what consti-
90 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, June 2011.
91 The NA has deep and well-documented hostility to its own
personnel being vetted for UN peacekeeping operations. After
the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR) in Kathmandu called for a vetting mechanism as part
ofthe peace process, the NA accused its representative in Nepal of over-stepping his mandate by commenting on military
matters. The NA also raised strong public and private objections
when the United Nations questioned the nominations of Generals Dilip Rayamajhi in 2006, Toran Singh in 2007 and Nepal
Bhusan Chand in 2010 for senior UN military posts because of
their alleged involvement in human rights abuses, or in the
Chand case, because of alleged obstruction of ongoing human
rights investigations. See for example Kamal Raj Sigdel, "Litmus test for government", The Kathmandu Post, 29 November
2009; and Phanindra Dahal, "NA loses peacekeeping post", The
Kathmandu Post, 29 July 2011.The NA says it has prevented
175 individuals from participating in peacekeeping operations
since the end ofthe conflict, but has not shared details of these
cases or the NA's internal vetting policies with OHCHR. Crisis
Group interview, OHCHR, via telephone, August 2011. In conflict-related human rights cases brought before the Supreme
Court, NA representatives have offered various arguments that
illustrate the army' s resistance to instituting policies that would
hold its personnel accountable for past rights abuses and prevent future ones. These arguments have included that normal
military disciplinary procedures are sufficient to address allegations against existing personnel; there were no policy-driven
human rights violations during the conflict; and individual violations by army personnel have already been punished. With
regard to itself, the NA has explicitly rejected that a "credible
allegation" can constitute grounds for being disbarred from
peacekeeping operations. Crisis Group interview, human rights
lawyer, via email, August 2011. See also, for example, "Maina's
murder: Impunity claim in NA ridiculous", The Kathmandu
Post, 8 April 2011.
tutes a credible allegation; how to establish command responsibilities, so commanders and commissars are also
held accountable; how similar standards will be set forthe
NA; and how all this will tie into judicial processes and
the mandate of a future truth and reconciliation commission. There has been no discussion of this clause yet, but
if it is somehow pushed through, it will set a precedent
for similar actions to be taken against NA personnel and
possibly even political leaders.
There is the possibility, though it is not often discussed,
that the NA could gain from integration. Some observers
and analysts say that Maoist combatants displayed considerable skill and determination in their operations.92
Their guerrilla warfare expertise could add value to an
army that encounters asymmetrical situations in peacekeeping deployments.93
Combatants who opt out of integration or do not meet the
basic requirements will have two choices - "rehabilitation" through skills training programs, or a shift to political and social work, which some call "voluntary retirement". In the latter case, ex-fighters will receive a cash
payment and walk out. While political discussions over
the golden handshake have been relatively uncontrover-
sial, the rehabilitation side ofthe process will need to be
negotiated carefully. As with integration, there are markedly different perceptions about what it should mean.
The Maoists insisted at an early stage that there would be
no disarmament, demobilisation and rehabilitation (DDR)
process in Nepal, since theirs was not a defeated army.
Yet, many combatants see echoes of a DDR approach in
the discussions about their future. Rehabilitation is inevitably linked in the minds ofthe traditional political parties
and donors, as well as some in the Maoist leadership, to
reducing the risk of discontent and unrest. But combatants
question the very term, saying they have not done anything
wrong, so do not need to be rehabilitated. Similarly, they
were never separate from "the people", so need no reintegration into society. Finally, many may not want or be able
to go back to the homes they left.94
Combatants have indeed done many things outside the cantonments in the past several years, including work, marry
and have children, develop relationships in the areas outside the camps, continue with party work and go home to
Sam Cowan, "Inside the People's Liberation Army: A Military
Perspective", European Bulletin for Himalayan Research, vol.
37, Autumn-Winter 2010.
93 Crisis Group interview, retired NA officer, Kathmandu, April
94 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, June 2011.
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Page 18
a mixed reception. But the rehabilitation question is about
other things: perception, respect and material gain.
The experience ofthe discharge of disqualified combatants in 2010 demonstrates that the greatest risk of discontent comes from poorly designed rehabilitation options
and from raising expectations too high, rather than ex-
fighters rampaging when let loose or being drawn into
armed groups. Nepal's political class, Maoists and non-
Maoists alike, as well as donors, have all learnt from that
experience. Training packages alone are almost certain
to evoke anger and a sense of humiliation among former
combatants. Regardless of how well-suited they might be
to the labour market, vocational training is perceived as
low status and cannot meet combatants' aspirations for
recognition and reward.
Instead, the cantonments are keeping an eye on the discussions among the political parties on how much should
be paid to those choosing "voluntary retirement". The
special committee's secretariat has come to a nuanced
understanding on cash payments and is negotiating various
options.95 This will certainly help speed up the I/Rprocess,
but in order to manage the broader social implications,
the government and political parties will have to consider
preparing a comprehensive compensation and reparations
policy for other conflict-affected groups, rather than keep
making scattered decisions.96
Figures under discussion for the retirement option range from
Rs.300,000 (approximately $4,095) to Rs.800,000 (approximately $10,920) per person. Discussions have considered length
of service and pay and retirement benefits for comparable
grades in the security forces. For some non-Maoist negotiators,
"cash is not a problem". Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu,
May 2011. Similarly, salaries and pensions of combatants who
will be integrated into the NA are factored into Maoist calculations of compensation for those who choose rehabilitation and
so will give up the chance to enter the NA. Compensation for
victims is also a consideration, though given the sensitivity, it is
mentioned very discreetly.
96 Crisis Group interview, via email, August 2011. Over 16,000
people died during the war, according to the peace and reconstruction ministry. Families of NA, APF and NP personnel who
died in the line of duty received Rs.750,000 (some $10,100) in
compensation. Crisis Group interview, NP officer, Kathmandu,
August 2011. The Maoist government in 2008/2009 declared
8,000 people martyrs, and the UML government under Madhav
Kumar Nepal did the same for 1,626 more civilians. Each family was given Rs. 100,000 as compensation (some $1,400). Relief and Rehabilitation Division, Peace and Reconstruction
Ministry. This is meant as interim relief, with final compensation expected to be Rs.l million (some $14,000). The families
ofthe 26 people who died in the 2006 Jana Andolan (People's
Movement) received a lump sum of Rs. 1 million and continue
to receive Rs. 10,000 a month (some $140). Conflict Management Division, Peace and Reconstruction Ministry. Of 5,886
The cash option could be particularly important for the
women combatants. They first defied traditional expectations, gender roles and an often stringently patriarchal society by joining the movement and then may have entered
into inter-caste marriages. Given the censure and stigma
sometimes attached to these actions, former women combatants could face greater challenges building their lives
after the PLA. It will be particularly important that they
have the financial resources to support potentially difficult decisions. Assistance does not necessarily have to be
greater for them, but it needs to be recognised that integration is closed off to the majority of women.97 Forthose
with infants, their immediate situations could limit options
as to where they can live and what rehabilitation training
they can choose .98 A number of women might neither want
nor be able to return to their villages. Their needs might
therefore not be the same as those of men in the PLA.
There is no authoritative opinion on cash payments, but
some DDR experts frown upon them.99 Donors are quietly
acknowledging that it is one ofthe better options in Nepal,
although there is awareness ofthe fiduciary risks of poorly
managed disbursement, or political disagreements, or political actors seeking to divert the cash for other activities.
Given political sensitivities, almost no donor can fund such
individuals wounded during the conflict, 3,000 have received
compensation. Most of these have received payments of no
more than Rs.200,000 (some $2,760). Ibid.
97 Ofthe 3,846 women combatants, 60 per cent are married, 50
per cent have children, and 10 per cent are disabled. Crisis Group
interview, Maoist party source, Kathmandu, July 2011. Whatever the overlap between these three categories, at least 60 per
cent of PLA women will be ineligible for integration, unless the
NA is willing to lift its ban on entry of married women and
mothers. Before the current negotiations, NA officials would
occasionally say that they would be open to taking PLA women
and members of communities under-represented in the NA,
such as Dalits, to accomplish two onerous obligations: integrate
Maoist fighters and be more inclusive. Crisis Group interview,
Kathmandu, March 2011.
98 Many negotiators and some donors believe that the start of
regrouping could be as simple as separating those who will be
ineligible for integration anyway, such as the disabled and "lac-
tating mothers", leaving the others who could all potentially
choose integration to be surveyed, etc. As with all numbers to
do with the PLA, the Maoists are reluctant to release the tally of
the disabled. Some estimates are from 560 to 700. Crisis Group
interview, UN employee, Kathmandu, August 2011. It is difficult to square this estimate with internal party figures that suggest that, for example, 10 per cent of all women combatants -
over 300 - are disabled.
"There is a lively academic debate on the merits and demerits
of cash assistance. The UN Integrated Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Standard (IDDRS) does not reject cash
payments but cautions against big instalments and recommends
in-kind assistance for economic reintegration. "4.30 Social and
Economic Reintegration", IDDRS.
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Page 19
payments.100 However, the golden handshake is certain to
be a component of a comprehensive agreement, because
the Nepali parties all agree it is necessary, no matter what
international opinion says or who pays for it.101
Donors and political actors thus face some immediate challenges. One is how to give combatants compelling incentives to choose rehabilitation, when retirement appears so
lucrative. Tentative formulas being worked on include a
combination of training and cash,102 the combined value of
which would probably have to exceed that ofthe retirement package and so perhaps encourage more combatants
to opt for rehabilitation. This model could also offer better
value for money, given the perception of over-payment
by donors for services in Nepal.103
There is concern about how much ofthe money will stay
with individual ex-combatants, and how much will be paid
over to the party.104 NC negotiators regret some early mis-
Donors can offer funding for "re-insertion" assistance, including allowances and other support for a short period. A few
factors work against this: the focus of Nepali actors on a large
golden handshake for those who retire or go into political work,
as opposed to being "reintegrated" into society; willingness to
pay for it domestically; and the sensitivities around practices
adopted from DDR models. Donors should perhaps limit their
aid to funding training programs and counselling and monitoring throughout the I/R process. Another layer of funding, with a
separate set of reporting and other requirements designed to reduce fiduciary risk, could complicate a negotiation that has been
relatively straightforward, without adding to it anything that the
Nepali state cannot do itself.
101 For further discussion of issues involved in cash payments,
see Section V.B.2 below.
102 This cash would be separate from the stipends ex-combatants
would also receive while undergoing training. Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, June 2011.
103Packages offered to discharged combatants cost $2,364 a
head, including the cost of psycho-social support, health care,
job counselling, family support for childcare and administrative
overheads. The training programs without these important extras cost $2,000 per person. Crisis Group interviews, UN officials, via email, Kathmandu, June and August 2011. Some of
the discharged wondered whether their training to repair mobile
phones, for example, should really have been so expensive.
That cost per person could almost certainly be brought down,
particularly if combatants are accommodated in existing programs, instead of programs being tailor-made for them. Given
the uncertainty over numbers, this would also make planning
easier, although then donors and the government would have to
consider how to extend some support to the non-Maoist participants in these programs. Regardless of whether the process is
managed by the government or the UN, the "extras", such as
psycho-social support, should not be ignored or monetised. Crisis
Group interview, UN officials, via email, August 2011.
104 Combatants are reported to pay as much as Rs. 1,000 (about
$13) oftheir Rs.5,000 (about $68) monthly salary back to the
party, in addition to other dues that may be withheld for their
takes they made in the process, such as not insisting on
integration before the CA elections.105 If they are keen
now not to have a situation in which the disbanding ofthe
PLA enriches the Maoist party ahead ofthe next general
election, they will have to negotiate how the cash is paid
out to ex-combatants who opt for retirement or rehabilitation. For those who retire and opt for political work, there
could be multiple ways of breaking down the lump sum
and staggering payment over a period of time. The first
instalment would have to be substantial enough that combatants feel they can make a fresh start, and it will be difficult to regulate how this is paid and spent.
Subsequent payments could take the form of cash proxies,
such as government bonds or payment to overseas employment agencies, or be offered as low-interest loans for small
businesses. For those who choose rehabilitation, payment
could be linked to completion of a training course.
Senior PLA commanders and UCPN(M) officials say combatants who are not integrated and do not immediately
choose a rehabilitation package will be taken into the party
organisation. Those who choose political work or retirement expect in any case to move into party structures, where
they can retain their status and prospects and perhaps gain
access to income.106 The party would be able to strengthen
its ranks with experienced and committed cadres. One
Maoist regional leader and former PLA commissar was
certain: "if 19,000 return to their villages, we will win the
next election".107 But this easy absorption into the party is
not a done deal; the Maoist and PLA leadership had made
similar grandiose promises to the discharged, even urging
them not to accept the government/UN mission (UNMIN)
packages and paying them a small amount of cash when
they left. Many ex-combatants came to realise that the
promises had been hollow.108
battalions or brigades from their allowances. Allowances range
from Rs.72 to Rs. 110 a day ($0.98 to $1.49). Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, January, July 2011. The cash packages
being proposed for those who choose to retire are generous, and
ifthe party were to take a similar cut from them, it would add
considerably to its resources. As of July 2011, combatants'
salaries (since November/December 2006) had cost the government Rs.4.6 billion (some $63.6 million). Crisis Group telephone interview, peace and reconstruction ministry, July 2011.
The allowances are paid from the Nepal Peace Trust Fund,
which is financed in equal parts by the government and various
105 Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, June 2011.
106 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, May 2011. A commander
wrote: "We didn't become PLA to earn money, but it doesn't
mean that we will just sit back and watch as others earn a lot".
Ram Dhakal, "Hritik", op. cit.
107 Crisis Group interview, May 2011.
108 The dissatisfaction among the discharged has not died down
and they are still demanding that the party provide them with
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1.    Past experiences: YCL and the disqualified
Two groups of former PLA combatants provide clues as
to what may happen to combatants who resume civilian
life. A sizeable group of Maoist combatants never entered
the cantonments, or left them before the verification process to go into the newly re-established Young Communist
League YCL).109 With a large number of former PLA combatants at its core, the YCL secured the Maoists' ability
to muscle their way into local political structures in many
Between 7 January and 8 February 2010, the PLA formally
discharged from the cantonments about 2,400 ofthe 4,008
combatants who UNMIN had verified were minors or late
recruits and so not eligible to be counted as Maoist army
combatants. The discharge was problematic, perhaps unavoidably, for a number of reasons. It was important that
those formerly minor combatants who wanted to leave
could do so and were supported in that decision. By the
time of discharge, most were eighteen or older. In their
eyes, their forcible separation from the PLA and Maoist
party was unnecessary and offensive. Many regarded themselves as full combatants, having been with the PLA for
significant periods of time and seen action, including on
the frontlines.111 For many who had joined the PLA or
stayed with it voluntarily, being driven out ofthe cantonments was disorienting and humiliating.112
The rehabilitation measures offered by the UN and first presented by representatives ofthe peace and reconstruction
ministry were also seen as insulting. A consortium of UN
agencies offered packages, including vocational and skills
training programs, support for small and micro-enterprises
and formal education.113 One reason forthe combatants'
annoyance was that in early presentations, ministry officials had just baldly enumerated the options with no context or acknowledgement oftheir audience's history. The
packages themselves were inoffensive114 (although the
options based on agriculture were angrily dismissed115),
but their design and presentation was based on the premise that rehabilitation must not be too attractive, in order
not to breed resentment in the wider community and not
to encourage armed insurgency again. Although a valuable
perspective, that attitude was counter-productive without
a clearer understanding of who the combatants actually
were, their relationships with the Maoist army and party,
and whether they wanted and were able to go home.
The Maoist party and PLA made serious missteps, too.
After the verification, the PLA promised verified minors
and late recruits they were still legitimate fighters and could
be integrated into the security forces like the others. They
did not allow the UN Development Programme (UNDP)
to conduct needs assessments in the cantonments, which
contributed to the discontent with the rehabilitation packages. When the leadership decided that it would go through
with discharge in late 2009, many disqualified fighters
were told that they would be able to return after a short
period. Some combatants said had not been informed of
their status, and their discharge came as a shock.116 The
party also obstructed the rehabilitation efforts, telling the
disqualified not to accept government packages. Senior
party and PLA leaders admit that they made mistakes and
gave the discharged too little attention. The party's attempt
now to do right by the discharged combatants could affect
I/R negotiations, as the Maoists push for accommodation
of them, too.117
better support packages, comparable to those that will be offered
to verified combatants. In July and August 2011, a large group
of discharged ex-combatants came to Kathmandu to negotiate
with the Maoist leadership. They also enforced a one-day shutdown of Kathmandu.
109 Precise figures are not available, but estimates go up to
7,000 individuals.
110 See Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Political Rites of Passage,
op. cit.
111 Crisis Group interviews, disqualified combatants, Sunsari,
Jhapa, Panchthar, April 2011. "Children in the Ranks: The Maoists' Use of Child Soldiers in Nepal", Human Rights Watch,
February 2007.
112Not everyone fell into this category. Some disqualified as
minors said they joined the Maoists because they were forced
to, tricked or simply because many of their friends went. Crisis
Group interviews, disqualified PLA combatants, Sunsari, Jhapa,
Panchthar, April 2011; former UNMIN employees, Kathmandu,
May 2011.
113 "Assistance to the Peace Process", UNDP, November 2010.
The UN Peace Fund for Nepal, to which donors contributed,
paid for this. The two-year process, which is to end in June
2012, cost $9.45 million.
114During the discharge process, with Maoist army commanders present, no combatant expressed interest in the packages.
Only about 10 per cent did so in one-on-one conversations with
UN staff. But later, inquiries to the program's toll free number
increased considerably. Crisis Group interview, UN Interagency
Rehabilitation Programme (UNIRP) employee, July 2011. By
mid-July 2011, 772 individuals (of almost 2,400) had completed their courses; over 350 were employed, while 910 were
still in training. "Bi-weekly report", UNIRP, 19 July 2011.
115 The vast majority of PLA recruits came from rural backgrounds. A combatant is said to have shouted at a ministry official in 2009, "My father was a pig farmer. You don't have to
teach me how to do that", Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu.
116 Crisis Group interviews, discharged PLA combatants, Sunsari and Panchthar, April 2011.
117 Crisis Group interviews, April-May 2011. In July 2011, the
party conducted meetings with a number of the discharged in
Kathmandu, at which a senior leader gave assurances they would
be taken care of. A senior PLA commander said, "the disqualification process was done unscientifically. Genuine PLA personnel ended up being disqualified. We do realise that we made
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A number of important provisions were lost in this shuffle,
although the UN did fill in the gaps at a later stage with
psycho-social support and better career counselling to go
with the training programs. These will continue to be important during the I/R process, as will specific support for
women combatants.118
In the months after the discharge process, it became clear
to many ineligible combatants that the party would not
accommodate them and its networks would not be open
to all who wanted to establish themselves independently.
Many ofthe discharged have chosen and been able to return home, though it is not clear whether they wish to stay
Overall, moving back into civilian society has been a
mixed experience. Some complain that potential employers are mistrustful. Others say they made enemies during
the war and feel insecure. Some, though not all, women
face stigmatisation, especially those who married across
caste boundaries or whose husbands are still in the cantonments.120 Localised public discourse is quick to blame discharged combatants for any real or perceived worsening
of security as well as specific crimes. Yet, there is little
actual evidence of recruitment into armed groups or involvement in criminal activities.121
serious mistakes. Therefore, we do not want to leave them out
when we negotiate about the rehabilitation package during the
integration process". Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, 4
May 2011.
118 Crisis Group interview, UNIRP employee, July 2011.
119Crisis Group interview, former UN employee, Nepalgunj,
April 2011.
120 Crisis Group interviews, discharged PLA combatants, Sunsari, Jhapa, Panchthar, April 2011; former UN employees, Kathmandu, May 2011. Women are expected to live in their husbands' homes after marriage, but in the case of cantonment relationships and specifically inter-caste marriages, men's families
sometimes do not know or accept the spouses.
121 Crisis Group interviews, Dharan, September 2010. In January 2011, police in Jhapa district linked a series of extortions,
abductions and robberies to the PLA Former Soldiers' Unity
Organisation, believed to be composed largely of disqualified
Maoist combatants. Police claimed the group was being run
from within the First Division cantonment in Chulachuli, Ham.
"Ex-combatants into crime, say police", The Kathmandu Post,
10 January 2011. Members ofthe organisation complained of
unjustified accusations by the police. Crisis Group interview,
Sunsari, Jhapa, April 2011. In July 2011, a disqualified combatant was arrested along with a current combatant for robbing
a house in Dashrathpur, Surkhet. "Maoist combatants held for
robbery", Republica, 11 July 2011. In some cases the predicted
spike in crime or armed group activity, for example, might not
have occurred due to continued control by the Maoist party and
PLA. A former combatant said he and friends had planned to
attack UN vehicles but were discouraged by the party. Crisis
Group interview, Panchthar, April 2011.
Whether justified or not, many ex-combatants say the way
the party and UNDP treated them contributed to their
humiliation outside the cantonments. The term used for
them, ayogya, literally means "unqualified", rather than
disqualified,122 and this is how they are perceived back home.
Of course, not every discharged combatant has had a bad
experience or felt victimised. Some are in regular contact
with their colleagues in the PLA, a few returned to live in
the cantonments and some receive financial assistance.
There was no visible security fallout from that process,
but that could be different this time around. Although many
of the disqualified combatants might have felt unfairly
excluded, they had been disqualified for having been recruited too young or too late - conditions that their own
leaders had negotiated with the other parties and the UN.
The PLA who now have to leave the cantonments are recognised as "legitimate" and have high expectations. Having
seen how their colleagues were ignored, they are also apprehensive. I/R is the end ofthe line for the Maoist army
and its personnel. All parties must be alert to the enormity
ofthe transition for the combatants and the need to offer
them a secure future.
The Maoist leadership, in particular, must be careful not to
promise more than it can deliver. If it says that party structures can and will accommodate as many ex-combatants
as want to join them, that had better be true. Once ex-
combatants do join, they will be drawn into the factional
struggles of party leaders. The impact of that is difficult
to predict.
2.    The pros and cons of cash
Although some international voices have made a range of
arguments against cash payments,123 the majority of larger
donors accept that they are needed in Nepal. A number of
the objections to money either do not hold specifically in
Nepal or are weak in any case:
They were unqualified in the sense that they did not meet
two criteria, neither of which had anything to do with actual
military ability or experience, but none of that information is
conveyed by ayogya.
123 A Saferworld study, for example, applies a range of boilerplate arguments: "Evidence from other contexts has shown that
lump-sum payments create obstacles to successful reintegration
because they are rarely invested by former combatants to provide long-term benefits, tend not to benefit dependants equitably and can lead to attempts to defraud the rehabilitation process. Additionally, cash payments often create divisions and bitterness among receiving communities while also providing a
dangerous message to others that participation in violence and
crime leads to financial rewards". "Common ground?", Safer-
world, op. cit, p. 67.
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Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 22
□ Money is fungible, and there are not enough checks
in place to balance the fiduciary risk. In-kind options,
vouchers or pre-loaded bank cards would be a hard
sell, as would be the suggestion that combatants set up
individual bank accounts. Nepal is an extremely cash-
friendly economy. Combatants might also be unsure that
they will have continued access to banking services,
particularly if they do not plan to live near urban centres. The UCPN(M) machinery will certainly get its
share of money received by combatants regardless of
how payments are made; that risk can only be lowered, not done away with, by releasing the money in
tranches and on fulfilment of certain conditions. Although the Maoist army maintained firm control over
payment of salaries and allowances in the cantonments,
it will have to be asked to cede control of disbursement of cash payouts to the government
□ Cash payments make it difficult for former combatants to go home. The money could cause resentment
or a backlash in the very poor communities most will
be returning to, especially if relations with the Maoists
have been fraught. There is no way to tell how ex-
combatants will spend their money - many might share
it with relatives or pay off family debts, rather than
flaunting it. Many Maoist combatants stayed out of
the cantonments and continued political careers, and at
least some conflict-era abuses are likely to have been
committed by people who are no longer in the PLA.
These people have faced no particular backlash. The
PLA, those who were cantoned and those who were not,
is only a part ofthe Maoist movement. Many people
in rural and urban areas participated in other ways,
and the personal connections between people in the
Maoist army, the party and the rest of society were
never broken. There is a significant Maoist political
presence in many parts ofthe country that could also
discourage hostility toward ex-combatants. That said,
speeding up justice processes and compensation for
conflict victims can only help.
□ The combatants may not have the capacity to deal
with a large sum of money responsibly and invest it
productively. Even the lower amounts proposed would
allow former combatants to establish an independent
livelihood, whether by going abroad as migrant workers,
by buying land or by investing in further education.
And the lower figures under consideration are on par
with regular cash transactions that take place in the
poorer strata of Nepal's society, usually forthe same
reasons - to pay for a job overseas, buy land, repay
debts. Many Nepalis already invest a substantial proportion oftheir income in education for their children,
without any particular incentives. Advice and basic
bookkeeping training would probably be welcome, but
not if it conveyed the patronising judgment, based more
on prejudice than empirical evidence, that poor people
cannot be trusted with money.
□ The real problem is lack of social and professional
capital, so money should be invested in training and
income generating activities instead. There is nothing
wrong with training, but by itself that is no guarantee
of enhanced capacity. Many combatants would like the
opportunity to generate income, but they would prefer
not to be told how to do it or to be told that their preferred options, such as cooperatives, are a bad idea. They
would rather have the control over their cash, be flexible and own their own transition. As the experience of
the core members ofthe YCL has shown, combatants
have proven perfectly capable of adapting to Nepali
society and life in peace time. Again, the UCPN(M)'s
networks, including through their penetration of a variety
of professional contexts, are broad and may be accessed
by combatants.
□ Attractive rehabilitation packages reward violent
insurgency and encourage other groups to take up
arms. The Maoist insurgency was fundamentally different from any of the few new armed groups active
now.124 Violence in everyday politics is deplorable,
but none ofthe new groups is likely to be willing or
capable of launching a full-fledged insurgency, and
will certainly not do so with the hope of eventually
receiving cash from the state.
□ It's expensive. Assuming only 10,000 combatants choose
retirement under a scheme providing the minimum
Rs.300,000 (approximately $4,095) per person, cash
payments would cost Rs.3 billion (about $40 million),
excluding operational costs. This would change, of
course, depending on how many combatants instead
choose rehabilitation and how many are accepted for
integration. It is not a small amount, but the cantonments have already cost at least $120 million.125
In fact, when contracted by international agencies, it is
training that is expensive, particularly in the eyes of
the beneficiaries. The assurances that the UN, for example, can provide donors about transparency is one
factor that raises the cost of running these programs,
but that does not go far in convincing the recipients of
the training that they are getting as much as they can
out ofthe support packages. Training and counselling
124 See Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Political Rites of Passage,
op. cit.
125 Much ofthe expenditure, including infrastructure, services
and allowances, takes place through the Nepal Peace Trust Fund
(NPTF). As of March 2011, it had spent approximately Rs.4.18
billion (approximately $57.6 million) on the cantonments.
"Progress Report No. 11", NPTF. Crisis Group telephone interview, peace and reconstruction ministry, July 2011. Salaries
have additionally cost more than $60 million.
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 23
in addition to cash payments would be preferable, but
if funds only allow for one or the other, cash could offer better value. In addition, in the absence of a proper
needs assessment, cash handouts would be preferable
to another program that can be neither optimally targeted nor run.126
Many combatants, whether they choose rehabilitation or
retirement/political work, may still choose to remain part
ofthe Maoist movement as supporters or cadres. With some
guarantees of financial independence and social status, they
may be able to do so on their own terms, rather than being
excessively beholden to the party.
C. National Security and the
Security Forces
Despite reservations the NA might have about civilian control and politicisation, it runs counter to democratic norms
and values to have a military that is not answerable to the
other institutions ofthe land. Critical commitments made
about the NA are barely being discussed, including "democratisation", or strengthening civilian control over it,
downsizing the security forces to be more appropriate to
Nepal's needs, and ensuring a more representative army,
particularly by boosting the number of personnel from historically marginalised groups, including Madhes-based communities. These are sometimes conflicting commitments,
but all are important issues that need political solutions.
It is clearly time for a political discussion to determine
what Nepal's security interests and compulsions are and
how these are best handled. This would help to reach informed and sustainable decisions about the shape of its
security forces. Many questions unrelated to the NA also
need answers: how the security forces can be made more
effective; how urgently needed reform in the police can be
started to counter corruption and politicisation; whether
Nepal needs a paramilitary force at all; and what the country can really afford.127 Reform of security forces is also
linked to how, when and whether Nepali actors decide
to address conflict-era abuses and whether the culture of
impunity is allowed to persist.
A sloppy, mechanical, unilaterally decided national security policy ofthe kind tabled in 2010 would address neither
the complex, sometimes nationalistic agenda that determines many actors' positions on national security, nor the
Maoist resistance has prevented UNDP from conducting a
proper survey of needs and aspirations in the cantonments. The
International Labour Organisation (ILO) has been unable to
prepare a long-planned labour market study. Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, April-May 2011.
127 There are 90,000 people in the Nepal Army, 60,000 in the
Nepal Police and 40,000 in the Armed Police Force.
untenable characterisation ofthe army as a world unto itself128 The security interests ofthe country's two large
neighbours, but particularly India, are significant. Nepal's
institutions and political class will have to discuss how best
to balance national sovereignty and interests with these
regional concerns. How Nepal and its parties negotiate these
compulsions will affect not only national security policy,
but also the ability of political players to make independent decisions.
Government, political parties, civil society, journalists and
retired servicemen urgently need to begin dialogue on the
future shape ofthe security sector and design a responsive
and flexible, but still largely stable approach to assessing
public security, as well as ask some difficult questions on
foreign policy. Nepal does have a constitutionally-mandated
National Defence Council, but its duties are restricted to
making recommendations to the cabinet about the army
and in any case it rarely, if ever, meets. The concept paper
on protection of national interest prepared in the CA is
more useful. It envisions a defence council with a broader
remit, to formulate policies about Nepal's national interest,
security and defence.129 Security sector reform is a complex and long process, though, and research and consultation do not have to be put off until the new constitution is
promulgated and a strengthened and empowered defence
or security council is in place.
For details, see Crisis Group Briefing, Nepal's Fitful Peace
Process, op. cit.
129 The CA National Interest Preservation Committee has proposed that the new constitution should direct the formation of a
National Defence Council to formulate Nepal's foreign policy,
national security policy and self-defence related policy and
make recommendations to the government. The Council would
also be responsible for all planning related to national security,
advise the head of government and ensure that all branches of
the security forces are under control ofthe democratic government. The council would consult with security experts and have
separate planning, advisory and implementation sub-committees
to ensure effective implementation. Nepal Constituent Assembly Committee on Preservation of National Interest, "Avadharana patrama adharit vyakhyatmak tippani sahitko prarambhik
masyauda", submission to the CA, May 2009.
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011 Page 24
As in so many cases of demobilisation of forces or the integration of rebels into a national army, the process in
Nepal has been inextricably bound up with other political
concerns. Only the broad outline was agreed early on, and
the details have been left for far too long. Integration and
rehabilitation are the essential first step toward consolidating peace and beginning to move on from the war. It
will likely take some years to assimilate those members
ofthe Maoist army who are to be integrated into the NA
and will require sustained attention and monitoring from
those in the international community that have supported
the peace process. Even if this can be done in a way that
builds confidence, many controversial issues will remain.
The NA needs to be made more affordable and accountable . It is too large and too independent of civilian control
for a democratic state. There is near total lack of civilian
expertise in military issues and the defence ministry has
been kept neutered for decades. The police are in urgent
need of reform, a process hugely hindered by their use by
politicians of all stripes. It is also questionable whether
Nepal needs a paramilitary force at all.
Overthe coming years, Nepal's military and security framework needs to be reviewed and reformed. Justice for victims ofthe conflict will be difficult to achieve without these
steps. All these issues can only be tackled in the framework of a new constitution. And that will not be possible
without integration, which will set off other actions.
Kathmandu/Brussels, 18 August 2011
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 25
The boundaries and names shown and the designations
used on this map do not imply official endorsement or
acceptance by the United Nations.
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Map No. 4304    UNITED NATIONS
January 2007 (Colour)
Department of Peacekeeping Operations
Cartographic Section
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 26
AMMAA Agreement on the Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies - the December 2006 agreement on
the Maoist and state armies which followed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
APF Armed Police Force - Nepal's paramilitary.
CA Constituent Assembly - the unicameral body tasked with drafting a new constitution, also serves as the
CoAS Chief of Army Staff - the head of the Nepal Army.
CPA Comprehensive Peace Agreement - agreement signed between the Nepalese government and the then
CPN(M) in November 2006 that officially ended the People's War.
CPN(M) Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), now UCPN(M)
DDR Disarmament, Demobilisation and Rehabilitation - the removal of arms and ammunition from former
combatants; disbanding of armed groups and reintegration of combatants into society.
GIZ Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit
IDDRS UN Integrated Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Standard - a comprehensive set of best
practices, policies, guidelines and procedures regarding DDR.
I/R Integration and Rehabilitation - the integration of some former Maoist army combatants into the state
security forces and the transitioning of others back into society.
MJF Madhesi Janadhikar Forum - the fourth-largest party after the 2008 CA elections, since split into three,
all represent Madhesi populations from Nepal's southern Tarai belt.
NA Nepal Army
NC Nepali Congress - the second largest party and a major traditional player in democratic politics.
NP Nepal Police
NPTF Nepal Peace Trust Fund - a government of Nepal-owned program established in February 2007 to implement
the provisions of the CPA, funded by government and donors.
OHCHR UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
PLA People's Liberation Army - the army of the Maoist party, which fought the state for ten years.
RNA Royal Nepal Army - former name of the Nepal Army under the monarchy.
SLC School Leaving Certificate - the national tenth grade exam, the basic requirement for many low-level jobs.
UCPN(M) Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) - the largest party in the CA, came aboveground at the end of
the war in 2006.
UDMF United Democratic Madhesi Front - the alliance of most major Madhesi parties, its major agenda is more
equitable representation of Madhesis in state institutions.
UML Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) - the second largest party in the CA, a major
traditional player in democratic politics.
UNDP UN Development Programme
UNIRP UN Inter-agency Rehabilitation Programme - set up to oversee rehabilitation ofthe Maoist combatants
discharged in 2010.
UNMIN UN Mission in Nepal - the UN's political mission to support Nepal's peace process from 2007-2011.
YCL Young Communist League - a Maoist organisation, many original members came from the PLA.
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 27
The International Crisis Group (Crisis Group) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, with some
130 staff members on five continents, working through
field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and
resolve deadly conflict.
Crisis Group's approach is grounded in field research. Teams
of political analysts are located within or close by countries
at risk of outbreak, escalation or recurrence of violent conflict.
Based on information and assessments from the field, it produces analytical reports containing practical recommendations targeted at key international decision-takers. Crisis
Group also publishes CrisisWatch, a twelve-page monthly
bulletin, providing a succinct regular update on the state of
play in all the most significant situations of conflict or
potential conflict around the world.
Crisis Group's reports and briefing papers are distributed
widely by email and made available simultaneously on the
website, Crisis Group works closely
with governments and those who influence them, including
the media, to highlight its crisis analyses and to generate
support for its policy prescriptions.
The Crisis Group Board - which includes prominent figures
from the fields of politics, diplomacy, business and the
media - is directly involved in helping to bring the reports
and recommendations to the attention of senior policy-makers
around the world. Crisis Group is chaired by former U.S.
Ambassador Thomas Pickering. Its President and Chief
Executive since July 2009 has been Louise Arbour, former
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Chief
Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the
former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda.
Crisis Group's international headquarters are in Brussels,
with major advocacy offices in Washington DC (where it is
based as a legal entity) and New York, a smaller one in
London and liaison presences in Moscow and Beijing.
The organisation currently operates nine regional offices
(in Bishkek, Bogota, Dakar, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jakarta,
Nairobi, Pristina and Tbilisi) and has local field representation in fourteen additional locations (Baku, Bangkok,
Beirut, Bujumbura, Damascus, Dili, Jerusalem, Kabul, Kathmandu, Kinshasa, Port-au-Prince, Pretoria, Sarajevo and
Seoul). Crisis Group currently covers some 60 areas of
actual or potential conflict across four continents. In Africa,
this includes Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic,
Chad, Cote d'lvoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia,
Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan,
Uganda and Zimbabwe; in Asia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh,
Burma/Myanmar, Indonesia, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka,
Taiwan Strait, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; in Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia,
Russia (North Caucasus), Serbia and Turkey; in the Middle
East and North Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Gulf States, Iran,
Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria
and Yemen; and in Latin America and the Caribbean, Bolivia,
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Crisis Group receives financial support from a wide range of
governments, institutional foundations, and private sources.
The following governmental departments and agencies have
provided funding in recent years: Australian Agency for
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Affairs and Trade, Austrian Development Agency, Belgian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Canadian International Development Agency, Canadian International Development and
Research Centre, Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Canada, Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Royal Danish
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dutch Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, European Commission, Finnish Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, German Federal
Foreign Office, Irish Aid, Japan International Cooperation
Agency, Principality of Liechtenstein, Luxembourg Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand Agency for International
Development, Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International
Development Agency, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs,
Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Turkish Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, United Kingdom Department for International Development, United Kingdom Economic and Social Research
Council, U.S. Agency for International Development.
The following institutional and private foundations have provided funding in recent years: Carnegie Corporation of New
York, The Charitable Foundation, Clifford Chance Foundation, Connect U.S. Fund, The Elders Foundation, Henry Luce
Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Humanity
United, Hunt Alternatives Fund, Jewish World Watch, Korea
Foundation, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Institute, Victor Pinchuk Foundation,
Ploughshares Fund, Radcliffe Foundation, Sigrid Rausing
Trust, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and VIVA Trust.
August 2011
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 28
Central Asia
Political Murder in CentralAsia: No Time
to End Uzbekistan's Isolation, Asia
Briefing N°76, 13 February 2008.
Kyrgyzstan: The Challenge of Judicial
Reform, Asia Report N° 150, 10 April
2008 (also available in Russian).
Kyrgyzstan: A Deceptive Calm, Asia
Briefing N°79, 14 August 2008 (also
available in Russian).
Tajikistan: On the Road to Failure, Asia
Report N°162, 12 February 2009.
Women and Radicalisation in Kyrgyzstan,
Asia Report N°176, 3 September 2009.
CentralAsia: Islamists in Prison, Asia
Briefing N°97, 15 December 2009.
CentralAsia: Migrants and the Economic
Crisis, Asia Report N° 183, 5 January
Kyrgyzstan: A Hollow Regime Collapses,
Asia Briefing N°102, 27 April 2010.
The Pogroms in Kyrgyzstan, Asia Report
N°193, 23 August 2010.
CentralAsia: Decay and Decline, Asia
Report N°201, 3 February 2011.
Tajikistan: The Changing Insurgent
Threats, Asia Report N°205, 24 May
North East Asia
China's Thirst for Oil, Asia Report N° 15 3,
9 June 2008 (also available in Chinese).
South Korea's Elections: A Shift to the
Right, Asia Briefing N°77, 30 June
North Korea's Missile Launch: The Risks
ofOverreaction, Asia Briefing N°91,
31 March 2009.
China's Growing Role in UN Peacekeeping, Asia Report N°166, 17 April
2009 (also available in Chinese).
North Korea's Chemical and Biological
Weapons Programs, Asia Report N°167,
18 June 2009.
North Korea's Nuclear and Missile Programs, Asia Report N° 168, 18 June
North Korea: Getting Back to Talks, Asia
Report N° 169, 18 June 2009.
China's Myanmar Dilemma, Asia Report
N°177, 14 September 2009 (also available in Chinese).
Shades of Red: China's Debate over North
Korea, Asia Report N°179, 2 November
2009 (also available in Chinese).
The Iran Nuclear Issue: The View from
Beijing, Asia Briefing N°100, 17 February 2010 (also available in Chinese).
North Korea under Tightening Sanctions,
Asia Briefing N° 101, 15 March 2010.
China's Myanmar Strategy: Elections,
Ethnic Politics and Economics, Asia
Briefing N°l 12, 21 September 2010
(also available in Chinese).
North Korea: The Risks of War in the
Yellow Sea, Asia Report N° 198,23
December 2010.
China and Inter-Korean Clashes in the
Yellow Sea, Asia Report N°200,27
January 2011 (also available in Chinese).
Strangers at Home: North Koreans in the
South, Asia Report N°208, 14 July 2011.
South Asia
After Bhutto's Murder: A Way Forward for
Pakistan, Asia Briefing N°74, 2 January
Afghanistan: The Need for International
Resolve, Asia Report N°145, 6 February
Sri Lanka's Return to War: Limiting the
Damage, Asia Report N°146, 20
February 2008.
Nepal's Election and Beyond, Asia Report
N°149,2 April 2008 (also available in
Restoring Democracy in Bangladesh, Asia
Report N°l51, 28 April 2008.
Nepal's Election: A Peaceful Revolution?,
Asia Report N° 155, 3 July 2008 (also
available in Nepali).
Nepal's New Political Landscape, Asia
Report N° 156, 3 July 2008 (also available in Nepali).
Reforming Pakistan's Police, Asia Report
N°157, 14 July 2008.
Taliban Propaganda: Winning the War of
Words?, Asia Report N°158,24 July
Sri Lanka's Eastern Province: Land,
Development, Conflict, Asia Report
N°159, 15 October 2008.
Reforming the Judiciary in Pakistan, Asia
Report N°160, 16 October 2008.
Bangladesh: Elections and Beyond, Asia
Briefing N°84, 11 December 2008.
Policing in Afghanistan: Still Searching for
a Strategy, Asia Briefing N°85, 18
December 2008.
Nepal's Faltering Peace Process, Asia
Report N°163,19 February 2009 (also
available in Nepali).
Afghanistan: New U.S. Administration,
New Directions, Asia Briefing N°89,
13 March 2009.
Pakistan: The Militant Jihadi Challenge,
Asia Report N° 164, 13 March 2009.
Development Assistance and Conflict in Sri
Lanka: Lessons from the Eastern Province, Asia Report N°165, 16 April 2009.
Pakistan's IDP Crisis: Challenges and
Opportunities, Asia Briefing N°93, 3
June 2009.
Afghanistan's Election Challenges, Asia
Report N°171, 24 June 2009.
Sri Lanka's Judiciary: Politicised Courts,
Compromised Rights, Asia Report
N°172, 30 June 2009.
Nepal's Future: In Whose Hands?, Asia
Report N° 173, 13 August 2009 (also
available in Nepali).
Afghanistan: What Now for Refugees?,
Asia Report N° 175, 31 August 2009.
Pakistan: Countering Militancy in FATA,
Asia Report N° 178, 21 October 2009.
Afghanistan: Elections and the Crisis of
Governance, Asia Briefing N°96, 25
November 2009.
Bangladesh: Getting Police Reform on
Track, Asia Report N° 182, 11 December
Sri Lanka: A Bitter Peace, Asia Briefing
N°99, 11 January 2010.
Nepal: Peace and Justice, Asia Report
N°184, 14 January 2010.
Reforming Pakistan's Civil Service, Asia
Report N°185, 16 February 2010.
The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the
LTTE, Asia Report N° 186, 23 February
The Threat from Jamaat-ul Mujahideen
Bangladesh, Asia Report N° 187, 1
March 2010.
A Force in Fragments: Reconstituting the
Afghan National Army, Asia Report
N°190, 12 May 2010.
War Crimes in Sri Lanka, Asia Report
Steps Towards Peace: Putting Kashmiris
First, Asia Briefing N°106, 3 June 2010.
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 29
Pakistan: The Worsening IDP Crisis, Asia
Briefing N°l 11, 16 September 2010.
Nepal's Political Rites of Passage, Asia
Report N°194, 29 September 2010 (also
available in Nepali).
Reforming Afghanistan's Broken Judiciary,
Asia Report N°195, 17 November 2010.
Afghanistan: Exit vs Engagement, Asia
Briefing N°l 15, 28 November 2010.
Reforming Pakistan's Criminal Justice
System, Asia Report N° 196, 6 December
Nepal: Identity Politics and Federalism,
Asia Report N° 199, 13 January 2011
(also available in Nepali).
Afghanistan's Elections Stalemate, Asia
Briefing N°l 17, 23 February 2011.
Reforming Pakistan's Electoral System,
Asia Report N°203, 30 March2011.
Nepal's Fitful Peace Process, Asia Briefing
N°120, 7 April 2011 (also available in
India and Sri Lanka after the LTTE, Asia
Report N°206, 23 June 2011.
The Insurgency in Afghanistan's
Heartland, Asia Report N°207, 27 June
Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Harder Than
Ever, Asia Report N°209, 18 July 2011.
Aid and Conflict in Afghanistan, Asia
Report N°210,4 August 2011.
South East Asia
Timor-Leste: Security Sector Reform, Asia
Report N°143, 17 January 2008 (also
available in Tetum).
Indonesia: Tackling Radicalism in Poso,
Asia Briefing N°75, 22 January 2008.
Burma/Myanmar: After the Crackdown,
Asia Report N° 144, 31 January 2008.
Indonesia: Jemaah Islamiyah's Publishing
Industry, Asia Report N°147,28 February 2008 (also available in Indonesian).
Timor-Leste's Displacement Crisis, Asia
Report N°148, 31 March 2008.
The Philippines: Counter-insurgency vs.
Counter-terrorism in Mindanao, Asia
Report N°152, 14 May 2008.
Indonesia: Communal Tensions in Papua,
Asia Report N°154, 16 June 2008 (also
available in Indonesian).
Indonesia: Implications ofthe Ahmadiyah
Decree, Asia Briefing N°78, 7 July 2008
(also available in Indonesian).
Thailand: Political Turmoil and the Southern Insurgency, Asia Briefing N°80, 28
August 2008 (also available in Thai).
Indonesia: Pre-election Anxieties in Aceh,
Asia Briefing N°81, 9 September 2008
(also available in Indonesian).
Thailand: Calming the Political Turmoil,
Asia Briefing N°82, 22 September 2008
(also available in Thai).
Burma/Myanmar After Nargis: Time to
Normalise Aid Relations, Asia Report
N°161,20 October 2008 (also available
in Chinese).
The Philippines: The Collapse of Peace in
Mindanao, Asia Briefing N°83,23
October 2008.
Local Election Disputes in Indonesia: The
Case of North Maluku, Asia Briefing
N°86, 22 January 2009.
Timor-Leste: No Time for Complacency,
Asia Briefing N°87, 09 February 2009.
The Philippines: Running in Place in
Mindanao, Asia Briefing N°88,16
February 2009.
Indonesia: Deep Distrust in Aceh as Elections Approach, Asia Briefing N°90, 23
March 2009.
Indonesia: Radicalisation ofthe "Palem-
bang Group", Asia Briefing N°92, 20
May 2009.
Recruiting Militants in Southern Thailand,
Asia Report N°170, 22 June 2009 (also
available in Thai).
Indonesia: The Hotel Bombings, Asia
Briefing N°94, 24 July 2009 (also available in Indonesian).
Myanmar: Towards the Elections, Asia
Report N°174, 20 August 2009.
Indonesia: Noordin Top's Support Base,
Asia Briefing N°95, 27 August 2009.
Handing Back Responsibility to Timor-
Leste 's Police, Asia Report N° 180, 3
December 2009.
Southern Thailand: Moving towards Political Solutions?, Asia Report N° 181, 8
December 2009 (also available in Thai).
The Philippines: After the Maguindanao
Massacre, Asia Briefing N°98, 21
December 2009.
Radicalisation and Dialogue in Papua,
Asia Report N° 188, 11 March2010 (also
available in Indonesian).
Indonesia: Jihadi Surprise in Aceh, Asia
Report N° 189, 20 April 2010.
Philippines: Pre-election Tensions in
Central Mindanao, Asia Briefing N°103,
4 May 2010.
Timor-Leste: Oecusse and the Indonesian
Border, Asia Briefing N°104, 20 May
The Myanmar Elections, Asia Briefing
N°105, 27 May 2010 (also available in
Bridging Thailand's Deep Divide, Asia
Report N° 192, 5 July 2010 (also
available in Thai).
Indonesia: The Dark Side of Jama 'ah
Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), Asia Briefing
N°107,6 July 2010.
Indonesia: The Deepening Impasse in
Papua, Asia Briefing N°108, 3 August
Illicit Arms in Indonesia, Asia Briefing
N°109, 6 September 2010.
Managing Land Conflict in Timor-Leste,
Asia Briefing N°l 10, 9 September 2010.
Stalemate in Southern Thailand, Asia
Briefing N°l 13, 3 November 2010 (also
available in Thai).
Indonesia: "Christianisation " and
Intolerance, Asia Briefing N°l 14, 24
November 2010.
Indonesia: Preventing Violence in Local
Elections, Asia Report N°197, 8
December 2010 (also available in
Timor-Leste: Time forthe UN to Step Back,
Asia Briefing N°l 16,15 December
The Communist Insurgency in the
Philippines: Tactics and Talks, Asia
Report N°202, 14 February 2011.
Myanmar's Post-Election Landscape, Asia
Briefing N°l 18, 7 March 2011 (also
available in Chinese and Burmese).
The Philippines: Back to the Table, Warily,
in Mindanao, Asia Briefing N° 119, 24
March 2011.
Thailand: The Calm Before Another
Storm?, Asia Briefing N°121,11 April
2011 (also available in Chinese).
Timor-Leste: Reconciliation and Return
from Indonesia, Asia Briefing N°122, 18
April 2011.
Indonesian Jihadism: Small Groups, Big
Plans, Asia Report N°204, 19 April
Indonesia: Gam vs Gam in the Aceh
Elections, Asia Briefing N°123,15 June
Indonesia: Debate over a New Intelligence
Bill, Asia Briefing N°124, 12 July 2011
The Philippines: A New Strategy for Peace
in Mindanao?, Asia Briefing N°125, 3
August 2011.
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 30
Thomas R Pickering
Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Russia,
India, Israel, Jordan, El Salvador and Nigeria;
Vice Chairman of Hills & Company
Louise Arbour
Former UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights and Chief Prosecutor for the International
Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia
and Rwanda
Morton Abramowitz
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and
Ambassador to Turkey
Cheryl Carolus
Former South African High Commissioner to
the UK and Secretary General ofthe ANC
Maria Livanos Cattaui
Member of the Board, Petroplus Holdings,
Yoichi Funabashi
Former Editor in Chief, The Asahi Shimbun,
Frank Giustra
President & CEO, Fiore Capital
Ghassan Salame
Dean, Paris School of International Affairs,
Sciences Po
George Soros
Chairman, Open Society Institute
Par Sten back
Former Foreign Minister of Finland
Adnan Abu-Odeh
Former Political Adviser to King Abdullah II
and to King Hussein, and Jordan Permanent
Representative to the UN
Kenneth Adelman
Former U.S. Ambassador and Director of the
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
Kofi Annan
Former Secretary-General ofthe United Nations;
Nobel Peace Prize (2001)
Nahum Barnea
Chief Columnist for Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel
Samuel Berger
Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group LLC; Former
U.S. National Security Advisor
Emma Bonino
Vice President ofthe Senate; Former Minister
of International Trade and European Affairs
of Italy and European Commissioner for
Humanitarian Aid
Wesley Clark
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander,
Sheila Coronel
Toni Stabile, Professor of Practice in Investigative Journalism; Director, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Columbia University, U.S.
Jan Egeland
Director, Norwegian Institute of International
Affairs; Former Under-Secretary-General for
Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief
Coordinator, United Nations
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
Former Foreign Minister of Denmark
Gareth Evans
President Emeritus of Crisis Group; Former
Foreign Affairs Minister of Australia
Mark Eyskens
Former Prime Minister of Belgium
Joshua Fink
CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Enso Capital
Management LLC
Joschka Fischer
Former Foreign Minister of Germany
Jean-Marie Guehenno
Arnold Saltzman Professor of War and Peace
Studies, Columbia University; Former UN Under-
Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations
Carla Hills
Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and U.S.
Trade Representative
Lena Hjelm-Wallen
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Affairs Minister of Sweden
Swanee Hunt
Former U.S. Ambassador to Austria;
Chair, Institute for Inclusive Security; President,
Hunt Alternatives Fund
Mo Ibrahim
Founder and Chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation;
Founder, Celtel International
Igor Ivanov
Former Foreign Affairs Minister of the Russian
Asma Jahangir
President ofthe Supreme Court Bar Association
of Pakistan, Former UN Special Rapporteur on
the Freedom of Religion or Belief
Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Ricardo Lagos
Former President of Chile
Joanne Leedom-Ackerman
Former International Secretary of International
PEN; Novelist and journalist, U.S.
Lord (Mark) Malloch-Brown
Former Administrator ofthe United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) and UN
Deputy Secretary-General
Lalit Mansingh
Former Foreign Secretary of India, Ambassador
to the U.S. and High Commissioner to the UK
Jessica Tuchman Mathews
President, Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, U.S.
Benjamin Mkapa
Former President of Tanzania
Moises Nairn
Senior Associate, International Economics
Program, Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace; former Editor in Chief, Foreign Policy
Ayo Obe
Legal Practitioner, Lagos, Nigeria
Paul Reynolds
President & Chief Executive Officer, Canaccord
Financial Inc.; Vice Chair, Global Head of Canaccord Genuity
Giiler Sabanci
Chairperson, Sabanci Holding, Turkey
Javier Solana
Former EU High Representative for the Common
Foreign and Security Policy, NATO Secretary-
General and Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain
Lawrence Summers
Former Director of the US National Economic
Council and Secretary ofthe US Treasury;
President Emeritus of Harvard University
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011
Page 31
A distinguished group of individual and corporate donors providing essential support and expertise to Crisis Group.
Canaccord Financial Inc.
Mala Gaonkar
Frank Holmes
Steve Killelea
George Landegger
Ford Nicholson & Lisa Wolverton
Harry Pokrandt
Ian Telfer
Neil Woodyer
Individual and corporate supporters who play a key role in Crisis Group's efforts to prevent deadly conflict.
APCO Worldwide Inc.
Ed Bachrach
Stanley Bergman & Edward
Harry Bookey & Pamela
Neil & Sandra DeFeo Family
Equinox Partners
Fares I. Fares
Neemat Frem
Seth Ginns
Rita E. Hauser
Sir Joseph Hotung
lara Lee & George Gund
George Kellner
Amed Khan
Faisel Khan
Zelmira Koch Polk
Elliott Kulick
Jean Manas & Rebecca
McKinsey & Company
Harriet Mouchly-Weiss
Griff Norquist
Internationella Rad (NIR)
- International Council of
Swedish Industry
Yves Oltramare
Ana Luisa Ponti & Geoffrey
R. Hoguet
Michael L. Riordan
Statoil ASA
Belinda Stronach
Talisman Energy
TillekeS Gibbins
Kevin Torudag
VIVA Trust
Yapi Merkezi Construction
and Industry Inc.
Former Board Members who maintain an association with Crisis Group, and whose advice and support are called on (to the
extent consistent with any other office they may be holding at the time).
Martti Ahtisaari
Chairman Emeritus
George Mitchell
Chairman Emeritus
HRH Prince Turki al-Faisal
Hushang Ansary
Oscar Arias
Ersin Anoglu
Richard Armitage
Diego Arria
Zainab Bangura
Shlomo Ben-Ami
Christoph Bertram
Alan Blinken
Lakhdar Brahimi
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Kim Campbell
Jorge Castaneda
Naresh Chandra
Eugene Chien
Joaquim Alberto Chissano
Victor Chu
Mong Joon Chung
Pat Cox
Gianfranco Dell'Alba
Jacques Delors
Alain Destexhe
Mou-Shih Ding
Gemot Erler
Marika Fahlen
Stanley Fischer
Malcolm Fraser
I.K. Gujral
Max Jakobson
James V. Kimsey
Aleksander Kwasniewski
Todung Mulya Lubis
Allan J. MacEachen
Graga Machel
Nobuo Matsunaga
Barbara McDougall
Matthew McHugh
Miklos Nemeth
Christine Ockrent
Timothy Ong
Olara Otunnu
Lord (Christopher) Patten
Shimon Peres
Victor Pinchuk
Surin Pitsuwan
Cyril Ramaphosa
Fidel V. Ramos
George Robertson
Michel Rocard
Volker Riiehe
Mohamed Sahnoun
Salim A. Salim
Douglas Schoen
Christian Schwarz-Schilling
Michael Sohlman
Thorvald Stoltenberg
William O. Taylor
Leo Tindemans
Ed van Thijn
Simone Veil
Shirley Williams
Grigory Yavlinski
Uta Zapf
Ernesto Zedillo
 Nepal: From Two Armies to One
Crisis Group Asia Report N°211, 18 August 2011 Page 32


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