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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 17:11 GMT
Nepal sides sign disarmament deal
By Surendra Phuyal
BBC News, Kathmandu

A Maoist rebel stands guard as other rebels train in a photo from July 2006
The rebels have been reluctant to relinquish their weapons
Nepal's multi-party government and Maoist rebels have signed a disarmament accord aimed at decisively ending the 10-year-old civil war.

The agreement was reached after extended meetings between the UN and government and Maoist representatives at different venues in Kathmandu.

Under a landmark peace deal, signed last week, the rebels will join a transitional government.

About 13,000 people were killed during the Maoist insurgency.

Thousands of rebel fighters to be confined to seven main camps under UN supervision
A joint co-ordination committee comprising the government, insurgents and the UN to monitor rebel camps
Maoist weapons to be locked in 70 metal containers and monitored by the UN
Under the detailed plans, thousands of rebel fighters will be confined to seven main camps under UN supervision ahead of elections next year.

Chief government negotiator and Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula and chief Maoist negotiator Krishna Bahadur Mahara signed the 12-page disarmament accord following five days of talks.

They submitted the agreement to UN representative Jan Erik Wilhemson, who is in Nepal as a security expert assigned to assist in the country's peace process.

Armed training

Mr Wilhemson will in turn submit the agreement to UN's special representative to Nepal, Ian Martin, who is currently visiting New York to brief Secretary General Kofi Annan on the latest developments.

A Maoist deputy commander, Ananta, told the BBC the two sides had agreed to allow the rebels to use 30 weapons for each of the seven main cantonments and 15 weapons for each of the 21 satellite-cantonments that are being set up around the country to confine rebel combatants.

Nepalese Maoists

He said the confined combatants would not be allowed to participate in armed training inside the temporary camps.

Although they will be able to vote in the forthcoming elections, officials say they will not be allowed to participate in electioneering or canvassing.

The rebels say they have 30,000 soldiers, but that number has yet to be verified by the government or the UN.

Sources in New York say that the UN is now understood to be close to dispatching a team of multinational armed monitors to Nepal..

After signing last week's peace agreement, the two sides formally signed a comprehensive peace agreement last week, paving the way for the formation of an interim government which will include Maoist leaders.

That would set the stage for elections to a constituent assembly due to be held by next June.

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