Nepal

Nepali disqualified combatants discharge to begin in January

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KATHMANDU, Dec 26, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Rakam Chemjong said on Saturday that the discharge of 4,008 disqualified Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) ( UCPN-M)combatants will commence in the first week of January.

The process was supposed to start from Sunday as per a joint action plan signed on Dec. 16 by the government, UCPN (M) and the United Nations Mission in Nepal.

"We have agreed to formally launch the discharge process sometime in the first week of January due to the Christmas and New Year holidays," said Chemjong.

"The disqualified would reach their homes within 40 days of the start of the process and the steering committee led by me will oversee the release process," he said.

Speaking at a program organized by the Reporters' Club in the capital Kathmandu Saturday, the minister said the government is committed to expediting the process of integration and rehabilitation of over 19,000 verified UCPN-M combatants living in the UN monitored cantonment sites across the country.

"I think we will be able to resolve the differences and vacate the Maoist cantonments within the next four months," he said.