Not a dinner party: civil war in Nepal

Ten years ago, the CPN (Maoist) surprised the world by declaring a “Peoples War” and launching thousands of attacks on police stations in a short period of time. Today, the guerrillas control large parts of the country, especially in the west. And even in the capital, government buildings are blown up from time to time. The great success of the Maoists, not only militarily but above all in terms of the influx of young people, says a lot about the lack of prospects in the remote regions of one of the poorest countries in the world. Outside the cities, hardly anyone can read and write, corruption is the norm and the government is as autocratic as possible. In fact, the Maoists have brought about some improvements in their areas, for example in women’s rights and semi-feudal conditions. Of course, they are also authoritarian. And when it comes to human rights violations, it does not help that the situation is much worse on the police side.

When the Hindu god-king dissolved parliament and seized absolute power in February this year, thousands of people disappeared, politicians of all parties were put under house arrest, the army fired into a student demonstration. The result was not only countless strikes and riots, even the previously ruling Congress Party dropped the constitutional monarchy from its party programme. Nobody wants the king anymore.

It is no coincidence that the guerrillas have declared a ceasefire for the duration of the trekking season: Tourism is an important source of income for both sides. Afterwards it goes on all the more bitterly.

[Update: Note that this article is pretty much out of date]

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