Conclusion of discharge of young Maoist combatants in Nepal is crucial for the peace process
Kathmandu, 9 February 2010 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, welcomes the conclusion of the historic release of 1843 Individuals who joined the Moist Army as minors, after more than three years in Maoist cantonment sites.
In December 2009, the Special Representative went to Nepal to finalize the Action Plan that led to the discharge of Maoist army personnel verified as minors. The discharge process, which began on 7 January, 2010, was completed on 8 February, 2010.
A total of 2,973 individuals were disqualified from the Maoist army as minors in a United Nations verification process that ended in December 2007. The discharge is a key component of an Action Plan signed in December 2009 by the Government of Nepal, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist (UCPN-M) and the United Nations, in the framework of the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
The UCPN-M has been listed as a party to conflict for recruiting and using children in five Annual Reports of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, within the framework of the monitoring and reporting mechanism established with the Security Council Resolution 1612. When the party fully complies with the Action Plan, it will be removed from this list.
Ms. Coomaraswamy feels that the return of these children to civilian life should be closely monitored to ensure that they are not re-recruited or exploited for political purposes and that they are fully integrated into society. The Special Representative stated that the discharge of the children was an important step forward in the peace process and she encourages all parties to seize the opportunity to bring lasting peace and stability to Nepal.