Nov. 20 - Former Maoist fighters in Nepal prepare to re-enter civilian life. Julie Noce reports.
In Nepal, former Maoist rebels have a choice to make-- Join the government army, or re-enter society as a civilian. For the past few years, the integration of former Maoist combatants into the national security force has kept the country in political deadlock. But a recent compromise between the ruling Maoists and opposition parties has helped move along the process. Former fighters can do one of two things... join the army, or take the $11,500 dollar pay out to start a new life. (SOUNDBITE) OTHER FEMALE SOLDIER, WITH CHILD, SAYING: "I will go for the voluntary retirement. I have a young child; I can't opt for reintegration into the army." Retired rebels will be given education, vocational training and financial aid. For those opting to join the government army, they will be assigned to non-combatant posts like construction or emergency rescues. Government monitors say the process is difficult but satisfactory. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF GOVERNMENT MONITOR BALANANDA SHARMA, SAYING: "It's challenging, because we are dealing with ex-combatants, who have had mixed feelings about integration, rehabilitation and voluntary retirement." 6,500 of the former 19,000 Maoist fighters will be allowed to rejoin the government army. Julie Noce, Reuters