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Reconciliation in Nepal

A party flag of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) above the crowd during a mass gathering in Kathmandu, June 15, 2012.

The Maoist Party has been removed from a terrorist exclusion list by the United States Government.

Six years after laying down its arms in a bloody insurrection and entering national politics, the Maoist Party in Nepal has been removed from a terrorist exclusion list by the United States Government. The decision comes in recognition of the party’s cessation of violent tactics and its commitment to pursuing peace and reconciliation in the Himalayan nation.

Reconciliation in Nepal
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With the delisting, property and interests in property of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), or CPN(M), within the possession or control of U.S. persons will no longer be blocked, and U.S. entities may engage in transactions with the party without having to obtain a license. This should allow international non-governmental organizations more flexibility to carry out their important work helping the Nepalese people.

Maoist rebels began fighting Nepal’s government in 1996, aiming to topple the country’s centuries-old monarchy. Their tactics were often brutal, and they were designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. in 2003.

After a thorough review the United States has determined that the CPN(M) is no longer engaged in terrorist activity that threatens the security of U.S. nationals or U.S. foreign policy. In recent years, the party has won a plurality in elections and headed Nepal’s coalition government, taken steps to dismantle its apparatus for conducting terrorist operations and demonstrated a credible commitment to pursuing the peace and reconciliation process in Nepal.

This delisting reflects the United States’ resolve to keep our terrorism sanctions current and demonstrates that a group need not stay on a terrorist list forever should it demonstrate a credible commitment to pursuing peace and reconciliation.

In de-listing the CPN(M) we look ahead towards the party’s continued engagement in peaceful, democratic dialogue in Nepal. However, we do not overlook the party’s violent past.

While it has admitted culpability, the CPN(M) has not yet held individuals to account for the murder of two U.S. embassy guards in Kathmandu. The party also needs to publicly renounce violence and establish promised transitional justice mechanisms that are in accordance with international best practices, including a commission on truth and reconciliation, and one on disappearances. The United States will continue to engage vigorously with the CPN(M) and the Government of Nepal on these and other concerns.