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Nepal Army to take control of UCPN-M cantonments

(Xinhua)

08:53, April 11, 2012

KATHMANDU, April 10 (Xinhua) -- A meeting of leaders from major political parties and the Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation has decided to bring the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN-M) combatants, cantonments and the arms under the control of Nepal Army (NA) effective from Tuesday.

The party leaders have agreed to focus on constitution drafting only after concluding the ongoing peace process.

According to Special Committee secretariat co-ordinator Balananda Sharma, the officials will reach all cantonment within an hour and handover the control of NA as soon as possible.

"This is an important decision to complete peace process," Finance Minister Barshaman Pun, also a UCPN-M leader, said after the meeting. "This also creates an environment to draft constitution in time."

The meeting endorsed a four-point decision and directed the government to make arrangement for deploying Nepal Army personnel in all the 15 cantonments.

The meeting was summoned to resolve the controversies over integration process in the UCPN-M cantonments. According to the seven point deal reached by the political parties, only 6,500 combatants can be integrated in the Nepal Army. However, around 9700 combatants have opted for integration.

Army Integration Special Committee had last week approved a work plan to evacuate the UCPN-M combatants from the People's Liberation Army cantonments and hand over the weapons stored in containers to NA by April 12.

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