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Preserving The Peace In Nepal

Negotiations are under way to form a new government in Nepal after the prime minister resigned in a dispute with the president over the firing of the Army Chief. This dispute and accompanying street protests threaten hard-won accords that ended a 10-year rebellion in 2006. The United States hopes all parties can resolve their differences peacefully and politically, to continue moving their country forward.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, a former Maoist rebel leader, stepped down after his effort to dismiss the country's military chief was blocked by President Ram Baran Yadav. Maoist insurgents fought a violent guerilla war against the government before joining the political process and then winning a plurality of votes in parliamentary elections in April 2008.

Under the peace accord, Maoist combatants are confined to barracks monitored by the United Nations. The accords called for the Council of Ministers to control, mobilize and manage the Nepali Army. Army chief General Rookmangud Katawal began hiring new troops, in contradiction to the terms of the Peace Agreement.

The U.S. urges Nepali leaders to work to find a peaceful way out of the current impasse and to resolve differences in a manner consistent with democratic principles so they can progress on the important national concerns including drafting a constitution and military integration. Given the past troubles, there needs to be a broad democratic consensus on how the Nepali people believe things there should work.