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Hundreds of Nepal Maoists leave camp: Report

Written by: Staff
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Kathmandu, Aug 1: Hundreds of former Nepali Maoist guerrillas have left a camp they were living in under a landmark peace deal, saying their managers were not paying them their monthly allowances, newspaper reports said today.

At least 1,000 former rebels had left a camp in Nawalparasi district in southwest Nepal in the past six months, saying camp commanders were ignoring them, the Kathmandu Post quoted a junior Maoist commander, Kul Prasad Bhattarai, as saying.

About 31,000 former fighters are housed in 28 camps under a November peace deal between the government and the Maoists, who last year ended their decade-long civil war that killed more than 13,000 people.

The Maoist party receives funds from the government to maintain the camps, as well as pay allowances to the fighters.

''They haven't even provided the salary and allowances released by the government in our name,'' Bhattarai was quoted as saying of his seniors in the camp.

He said fighters injured during the war were not getting treatment more than a year after the conflict ended.

However a senior Maoist commander said the fighters had only gone on leave, which was authorised under the deal.

''Combatants are allowed to go on vacation considering their needs,'' the daily quoted Maoist division commander Pratikshya as saying.

There was no immediate comment from the government.

The UN, which is tasked with monitoring the Maoists' arms, said it had yet to verify the total number of people in the Nawalparasi camp, as mandated by the peace deal, and therefore could not comment on the absence of 1,000 people.

The Maoists have deposited about 3,500 weapons in locked containers. The UN has no role in the management of the camps.

Reuters>

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