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A meeting of the representatives of the government, United Nations (UN) and the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) is underway to address the recent problems that have cropped up after the Maoist combatants kept at different cantonments started leaving the camps accusing the government of not providing enough fund. The meeting, being held at the Hotel Summit on February 22, will try to find a consensus on making the combatants return respective cantonments, addressing their problems and ways not to violate the tripartite agreement reached between the government, UN and the Maoists on storing arms and keeping the combatants at different cantonments.

Reportedly, the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) has stated that the government did not provide enough funds for their food, shelter and other essential expenses, more and more Maoist combatants put at different cantonments left the camps since February 22. The UNMIN is concerned at Maoist combatants registered with the UN leaving their cantonments and that is a breach of the arms agreement reached between the government, the Maoists and the UN. The CPN-Maoist has informed that the Maoist combatants were forced to leave the camps and make an entry to the villages after the crisis of food, shelter and other essential stuff started soaring high. Reportedly, the Maoists had asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to do the needful to manage the cantonments and had warned of walking out of the camps if the government failed to do so.

Meanwhile, a report released by the UN says that at least 36 children were killed, 113 injured and 37 children were involuntarily disappeared between August 2005 and September 2006 when the state security forces and the Maoists were at war. Of them, 29 children were killed and 70 injured in 63 incidents of explosions of landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during that period. The report entitled “Use of Children in Armed Conflict in Nepal” was presented to the UN Security Council. According to the report, altogether 512 children have been documented being recruited by the Maoists in this period. By the end of 2006, 1,811 more minors were found used by the Maoists. Only 172 of 512 minors are reported to have returned to civilian life. Likewise, 79 incidents of large-scale abductions were recorded during this period while other 45 incidents occurred in the name of law enforcement. The report notes that although many of the reported violations occurred prior to the ceasefire between the government and the Maoists, there were still serious abuses of child rights.
(Source: www.kantipuronline.com, February 22, 2007)