There would be prohibition for conducting political training to the Maoist army personnel inside or outside the cantonments.
The Special Committee overseeing the Maoist combatants on Thursday (yesterday) endorsed the directive related to the supervision, command and control, and code of conduct to be enforced on the Maoist army personnel living at the UN monitored cantonments.
The approval of the document marks a “significant step” for bringing the former rebel soldiers still living under the chain of command of the Maoist party under the government. The six-party Special Committee has also agreed to institute a 12-member secretariat body to control the combatants and their cantonments.
“With today’s decision, the combatants have formally come under the control of the government,” said Nepali Congress member in the Special Committee Ram Sharan Mahat. “They would be practically functioning under the government’s instruction after the special committee secretariat works on full fledged.”
Maoist representative in the committee Barsha Man Pun said the combatants have “in principle” come under the government after Thursday’s decision. “After making necessary arrangements, formal programmes will be organised inside the cantonments to announce that they are under the special committee,” said Pun. “The appropriate date of announcement would be fixed on the basis of political consensus.”
The nine-member Special Committee had agreed upon the document related to the command control and code of conduct in April, however they were not endorsed due to fissures among the political parties on modality of integration and rehabilitation of combatants. Caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Monday had agreed to soon finalise and implement those documents.
Thursday’s meeting has also decided to convert the 8-member Technical Committee for the Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants as the Special Committee Secretariat. The technical committee comprising representatives of four major parties was formed in March 2009 to prepare a blueprint of the integration and rehabilitation package to be offered to the combatants.
The Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and the People’s Liberation Army will send one representative each to the secretariat. “The mechanism will be led by a coordinator chosen on the basis of political consensus,” said Maoist leader Pun. He said the Special Committee Secretariat will get final shape after the Nepali Congress General Convention ends on Sept. 21.
The secretariat in coordination with the Cantonment Management Central Coordinator’s Office at the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction would set up teams in all the cantonments that would make a periodical report to the government through the Special Committee.
After the enforcement of the document endorsed on Thursday, the Special Committee would sanction leave and make call on their transfer from one cantonment to another. There would be prohibition for conducting political training to the Maoist army personnel inside or outside the cantonments. The combatants would also be bound to abide by the instruction of the official employed at the cantonment by the government.