Government and rebels formally sign peace agreement in Nepal

Government and rebels formally sign peace agreement in Nepal
Nepalese Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, left, and the spokesperson of the Nepal Communist Party group Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma shake hands during a signing of peace agreement in Kathmandu, Nepal, Friday, March 5, 2021. The leader of the small rebel group Netra Bikram Chand , who is better known by his guerrilla name Biplav, merged out of hiding on Friday after the government lifted a ban on his group so it could take part in the public signing of the peace agreement. This group had split from the Maoist Communist party, which fought government troops between 1996 and 2006, when it gave up its armed revolt, agreed to U.N.-monitored peace talks and joined mainstream politics. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Nepal’s government and a communist rebel group have formally signed a peace agreement aimed at ending violent attacks, extortion and bombings by the rebels.

Rebel leader Netra Bikram Chand, better known by his guerrilla name Biplav, emerged from hiding on Friday after the government lifted a ban on his Nepal Communist Party group so it could take part in the public signing of the peace agreement.

“Nepal has entered a peaceful era. There is no more violence in Nepal or any any violent conflicts left in Nepal,” prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli said at the ceremony.

Under the peace deal, the government will lift its ban on the group, release all party members and supporters from jail and drop all legal cases against them.

In exchange, the rebel group agreed to give up all violence and resolve any issues through peaceful dialogue.

The group had split from the Maoist Communist party, which fought government troops between 1996 and 2006, when it gave up its armed revolt, agreed to UN-monitored peace talks and joined mainstream politics.

The fighting left 17,000 people dead, hundreds missing and many more maimed.

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