Kantipur News Report
KATHMANDU, Nov 21 – The government and the Maoists on Tuesday evening signed the much anticipated and long awaited Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA), formally ending the decade-long armed Maoist insurgency.
Attended by the entire cabinet, political leaders, foreign ambassadors, dignitaries and members of the international press, the historic moment came at the Birendra International Convention Center (BICC) hall in the capital at 8:25 this evening.
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist supremo Prachanda signed the historic deal. Before the deal was signed, Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula read out the full text of the CPA.
Main features of the CPA, which includes 10 main sections are
- Formal end of the Maoists’ People’s War that began in 1996
- No political rights to King; his property to be nationalised under public trusts
- To strictly implement all previous agreements reached between the government and Maoists.
- Maoists’ People’s Liberation Army and Nepal Army and their arms to be managed as per the earlier agreement reached between the government and the Maoists
- No attacks or any kind of violent and offensive activities from either side; no new recruitments in armed forces of both sides
- OHCHR-Nepal to monitor human rights situation, and UN Team to monitor and supervise PLA cantonments and Nepal Army barracks
- Full commitment to uphold human rights, all international human rights laws, civil liberties
- Maoists’ parallel administration (People’s governments, People’s Courts) across the country to be scrapped
- National Peace and Rehabilitation Commission, Truth Commission, and a high-level Commission for State Restructuring to be formed
- Feudal land-ownership system to end, Scientific land distribution system to be adopted
- Strong punitive policy against corruption
- Property earned illegally by anybody through corruption to be confiscated
- Possession, display and use of arms and weapons by anybody a punishable crime
- Both government and Maoist sides to assist each other to maintain law peace, law and order
- Respectful rehabilitation
and social integration of the people displaced during the insurgency
US, UN welcome peace accord
The UN and US on Tuesday evening welcomed the announcement of the comprehensive peace accord signed by Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist Chairman Prachanda.
“We hope this step (signing of the peace accord) will place Nepal on the path of lasting peace and democracy,” said a statement issued by the American Embassy this evening.
The US also said it wants the peace process to work and pledged full support. “We support an agreement that safeguards the aspirations of the Nepali people.”
With the signing of the agreement, the US said violence, intimidation, and criminal acts — such as forced recruitment of cadre and extortion — must end.
“The Nepali people, who have lived in fear for 11 years, deserve a chance to live without fear and choose their form of government in fair elections,” the US said.
America also said it is committed to help Nepal build a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic future for its people.
Meanwhile, Ian Martin, the special representative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the peace agreement had marked a key step forward in the peace process.
Issuing a statement this evening, Martin said, “It is a privilege to have been present at the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, marking another key step forward in the peace process.”
Martin called it a historic opportunity for the people of Nepal to end the armed conflict and to build sustainable peace within an inclusive and democratic state. “Now today’s Agreement promises to convert the ceasefire into long-term peace.”
He added those involved on both sides were to be congratulated for their hard work in finalizing the agreement which is entirely a Nepali achievement.
“The Secretary-General has said that he intends to move promptly to respond to the request to the United Nations to help in key areas of the peace process. I am pleased to say that my office is working in an excellent spirit of collaboration with the Government and the CPN-M on these areas, and today we have completed agreement on the locations of seven divisional PLA cantonment sites.”
With the Comprehensive Peace Agreement now signed, Martin said he hope that a tripartite agreement will be reached on the full modalities for the management of arms and armies, clarifying essential details regarding confinement to cantonments and restriction to barracks, weapons storage, permitted and prohibited activities, and monitoring arrangements.
“I also look forward to discussing how the United Nations’ role in the other areas requested, of human rights monitoring, assisting independent national monitoring, and electoral assistance and monitoring, can help to create the climate of multi-party democracy and pluralism throughout the districts and villages of Nepal which is essential for the free and fair Constituent Assembly election to which the parties have committed themselves,” Martin said.