Nepal Maoists say to return property seized in war

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KATHMANDU, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Nepal's former Maoist rebels have said they will return land and property they seized during a decade-long civil war as part of a peace deal that brought them into the political mainstream.

Maoists, who began fighting the monarchy in 1996, forced thousands from their homes when they seized land and property during the war that killed more than 13,000 people.

Political parties complained the Maoists had not returned the seized property to its owners, despite promising to do so after emerging as the largest party in elections held in April under a 2006 peace deal.

"We'll return the seized property to their owners by mid-December," Prime Minister Prachanda, the Maoist chief who still uses his nom de guerre rather than his real name Pushpa Kamal Dahal, told a special assembly late on Tuesday.

"Compensation will be paid to those who do not get their property," he said.

The Maoists have also promised to let more than 200,000 people displaced by war return to their homes.

They have vowed revolutionary land reforms and promised land to landless farmers in one of the world's poorest countries.

(Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Bappa Majumdar and Paul Tait)

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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