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Nepal Civil War
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The Nepal Civil War, a conflict between Maoist/communist insurgents and the government of Nepal, was launched by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) on February 13, 1996. The communist insurgents, who aim to establish a "People's Republic of Nepal", may control several parts of the country. In 2001, the King of Nepal began deploying the armed forces against the Maoist forces. More than 10,500 people have been killed in the conflict, and an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 people have been internally displaced. The conflict has disrupted most rural development activities, and has led to a deep and complex transformation of Nepalese society.
The CPN(M) broke off from the Samyukta Jana Morcha (United People's Front) in 1994 over fundamental differences of political line. Preparations for armed struggle were initiated in 1995. Initially the Royal Nepal Army was not involved in direct fighting because the internal conflict was seen as a political and police problem. Under the aegis of the global War on Terrorism and with the stated goal of averting the development of a "failed state" that could serve as a source of regional and international instability, the United States and India, among other nations, have begun providing extensive military and economic aid to the Nepalese government. In response, the Maoist leaders have denounced U.S. involvement and threatened to target U.S. interests.
Nepal is currently one of the few absolute monarchies left on the planet. The king may dissolve parliament at will and frequently has done so. The government has responded to the People's War by banning "provocative" statements about the monarchy , imprisoning journalists, and shutting down newspapers alleged to take the side of the insurgents.
Several rounds of negotiations, accompanied by temporary cease-fires, have been held between the insurgents and the government. So far, however, they have not borne fruit. The government categorically rejects the insurgents demand for a new democratic constitution that would allow for the abolition of the monarchy by a popular vote. At the same time, the Maoist forces refuse to end the conflict while it says the government has offered little. In November 2004, the government rejected the Maoists' request to negotiate directly with King Gyanendra rather than with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba as well as their request for mediation by a third party, such as the United Nations.
Although accurate information is difficult to obtain, news media reports that much of the countryside is under Maoist control, as of 2004. The Nepalese government is strongest in the region of the capital and largest city, Kathmandu. Unrest spread to Kathmandu in 2004.
Intense fighting and civic unrest continued into 2005, with reports of at least two hundred dead in December 2004.
As a result of the civil war, Nepal's greatest source of foreign exchange, its tourism industry is suffering. iExplore.com, a leading travel company published rankings based on their sales of the popularity of tourist destinations which indicated a slump from tenth most popular destination among adventure travellers to twenty-seventh. It was the first time Nepal was outside the top 10 for several successive years and indicates the pressures on the government.
- February 13 Initiation of the people's war by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).
- Kathmandu: A soft-drink bottling factory owned by a multi-national company was attacked and a portion of the building torched.
- Gorkha district
- A liquor factory was 'blasted'.
- Office of the Small Farmer's Development Programme of the state-owned Agricultural Development Bank in Chyangli VDC (Village Development Committee) ransacked.
- Kavre district: A usurer's house was raided at night, properties and cash reportedly worth 1.3 million rupees were seized, and loan documents worth several million rupees reportedly destroyed.
- Rolpa , Rukum & Sindhuli districts: One police outpost raided in each district. The outpost at Holeri , Rolpa had its store seized, including a "substantial amount of high explosives". Athbiskot-Rari , Rukum was also raided. The Sindhuligarhi post in Sindhuli was reportedly raided without resistance.
- January: The government created the Armed Police Force to fight the insurgents.
- May 28: Chairman Prachanda gave an interview with the journal A World to Win .
- August 30: The first round of peace talks begin.
- November 23: Peace talks collapse when the Maoists withdraw and attack police and army posts in 42 districts.
- November 26: The monarchy declares a nationwide state of emergency and employs the Nepal Army to start attacking the Maoists. 
- U.S. Congress approves US$12 million to train Royal Nepal Army officers and supply 5,000 M-16 rifles. 
- May: Peace talks collapse. 
- May 11 A photograph Discovered by Nepal government soldiers in western Nepal, the photograph depicts Nepal's Maoist rebel leaders Baburam Bhattarai, Hishila Yami, Ram Bahadur Thapa (alias Badal), and Pushpa Kamal Dahal (alias Prachanda). 
- May: Prime Minister Deuba, at King Gyanendra's word, dissolves parliament due to opposition to the state of emergency, and orders new elections
- June 1: Crown Prince Dipendra reportedly kills King Birendra and much of the royal family. Two days later, Gyanendra is crowned King.
- July 11: It leaks out that the Belgian weapon manufacturer FN Herstal is allowed to deliver 5,500 Minimi rifles to the Nepalese monarchy, a decision made by all coalition parties. Minister of External Affairs, Louis Michel speaks of "a country in a pluralistic democracy". — August 26: Belgian minister Magda Aelvoet resigns.
- October 4: King Gyanendra deposes Prime Minister Deuba and the entire Council of Ministers, assumes executive power, and cancels the elections for the dissolved House of Representatives, which had been scheduled for November 11.
- October 11: King Gyanendra appoints Lokendra Bahadur Chand as Prime Minister.
- January: The United States held exercises with the Nepali army. 
- January 29: Second ceasefire is established and peace talks begin. 
- August 17: Killing of '19 rebels and civilians' in the Ramechhap district of central Nepal. 
- August 24: The Maoists threatened to withdraw from the cease-fire if the government would not agree to include discussion of their participation in the Constituent Assembly within 48 hours. 
- August 26: Maoist ultimatum expires. 
- August 27:
- Strike. "the rebels called for a one-day strike to denounce the army's attacks on rebel cadres" 
- The rebels unilaterally withdrew from the January 29th cease-fire. Prachanda's statement revived the rebels' demand for an end to monarchic rule in favor of a people's republic. Excerpt of statement: "since the old regime has put an end to the forward-looking solution to all existing problems through the cease-fire and peace talks, we herein declare that the rationale behind cease-fire...and peace process has ended." 
- September 27: "Twelve Maoists were killed in a gunbattle with security forces at Chhita Pokhara in the Khotang district, 340 kilometres east of Kathmandu, a police officer said." "Elsewhere in eastern Nepal, the Maoists killed two policemen, Purna Giri and Radha Krishna Rai, and a woman selling beetle nuts, Kala Chaudhary, in the Jaljale-Gaighat area, an official said." "In Janakpur, an industrial hub on the Indian border 260 kilometres south-east of Kathmandu, the rebels carried out five early morning bombings that disrupted telephone service and power, police said." "He said the sites that were bombed included the offices of the roads department and the Nepal Electricity Authority and a telecommunications tower." "Troops and Maoists traded fire for nearly 40 minutes after the blasts but the rebels escaped and no one was injured, Mr Khadka said." 
- October 13: At least 37 people were killed when an estimated 1,000 Maoists attempted to storm a police training centre in Bhaluwang . "The rebels had snapped telephone cables, set up roadblocks by felling trees or blowing up highway bridges to prevent reinforcements from coming," a witness, Krishna Adhikary, told Reuters. 
- October 27: "Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Griffith and six Nepali nationals were freed last week 42 hours after being taken captive in Baglung, 300 km (190 miles) west of Kathmandu, while on a drive to recruit young Gurkha soldiers to serve in the British army." Party chief Prachanda said "We are sorry for the incident that took place against the policy of the party". 
- November 11: The government Defence Ministry accused the rebels of abducting twenty-nine 9th and 10th grade students from Riva Secondary School in Mugu district, western Nepal during the previous week. 
- November 19: According to a Nepal army official, four people were caught at the Chinese Khasa border point, 114 kilometres northeast of Kathmandu, smuggling weapons from Tibet in to Nepal. The official named Hirala Lal Shrestha and Gyaljen Sherpa and said they were taken for interrogation in the Tibetan town of Xigatse. 
- February 5 A government raid on a village in Bhimad, Makwanpur district occurred. Reports emerged that 14 suspected Maoist activists and two civilians were extrajudicially executed. Amnesty International later wrote a letter to Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa and Colonel Nilendra Aryal , Head of the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) human rights cell demanding an immediate inquiry. 
- February 10 Two central committee members of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Matrika Yadav and Suresh Alemagar were reported to have been handed over by India to Nepal. They were reportedly arrested in Lucknow after Nepal provided information. 
- February 13 Ganesh Chilwal leads an anti-Maoist protest on this day, the ninth anniversary of the commencement of the revolution. 
- February 15 Ganesh Chilwal was shot dead in his Kathmandu office by two men. 
- February 15 Fighting erupted at a Maoist jungle base in Kalikot district, 360km west of Kathmandu. The base was said to hold 1000 Maoist troops. On February 17, a security official said a private helicopter flying troops to Kalikot was hit by Maoist fire but that it returned safely to Kathmandu. On February 18, 65 were reported killed, though this conflicted with other reported death tolls of 35 and 48.  
- February 15 and 16 State radio reported 13 rebels were killed in seven separate small clashes across the kingdom. 
- February 18 Lawmaker Khem Narayan Faujdar, a member of the parliament dissolved by King Gyanendra in 2002 was shot dead by two suspected Maoists riding a motorcycle in the Nawalparasi district, 200 km southwest of the capital, according to police. 
- April 2(?) The largest rallies since 1990 begin in Kathmandu. They are variously labelled "pro-democracy" and "anti-monarchy".
- April 3 More than 12 trucks were burnt while waiting at a western Nepal border post to pick up petrol from India. India condemned the attacks and vowed to fight terrorism. 
- April 4 "Some 150 demonstrators were struck during a police baton charge" during demonstrations in Kathmandu. 
- April 4 "Hundreds of Maoist rebels" attacked a police post in Yadukuwa , Jadukhola killing at least nine police. 35 police were reported missing, 9 dead, and 7 wounded. 8 to 9 rebels were reported dead. "Witnesses said more than 500 rebels bombed the police post and began firing automatic weapons at around 9 pm (1515 GMT) on Sunday night. The fighting lasted two to three hours." Other reports stated 400 rebels.   
- April 4 In the west of the country three Indian traders were shot and injured and had their vehicles burned. 
- April 5 A three day national strike begins, called by CPN(M) and opposed by an "alliance of five political parties" who are protesting in Kathmandu against the monarchy and say the strike will hamper the movement of demonstrators in Kathmandu. Prachanda said "The time has come to win a united struggle against the feudal forces as the king is trying to take the nation back to the 18th century".  
- April 5 In the morning, 3 soldiers are killed and 7 injured by a CPN(M) landmine activated by their vehicle at Dhalkhola , 50km east of Kathmandu.  
- April 5 At least 140 people were injured in clashes in Kathmandu as "about 50,000" demonstrators confronted police. Demonstrators tried to break through a police barricade close to the royal palace. Police responded with tear gas and protesters were reportedly injured by police batons. Rocks and bricks were thrown by both sides. Demonstrations also occurred in Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. King Gyanendra has reportedly been away touring villages in western Nepal.  
- April 5 The Indian government will no longer provide police escorts to Indian officials shopping in Nepal as a means to discourage such trips. Fears are based on CPN(M) targeting of Indians - "We are worried about possible reprisals here if the Maoists continue to target Indians inside Nepal" said a senior police official. 
- August 16 The Soaltee Hotel, a popular luxury hotel in Kathmandu, was bombed for refusing a rebel demand that the hotel close.
- August 18 A bomb explodes in a marketplace in southern Nepal. The blast kills a 12-year-old boy and wounds six others, including three policemen. Also, Maoist rebels demanding the release of captured guerrillas stop all road traffic near Kathmandu by threatening to attack vehicles. Some Nepal businesses are shut down because of threats.
- September 10 A bomb explodes at the United States Information Service office in Kathmandu.
- September 13 U.S. Peace Corps suspends operations and non-essential U.S. Embassy personnel are evacuated from Nepal.
- December 15 Twenty government security personnel killed in the western district of Arghakhanchi when the rebels mounted a surprise attack.
- December 16 Sixteen Maoist rebels were killed in clashes with Nepalese security forces in the western district of Dailekh.
- December 23 Maoist forces launch blockade of Kathmandu
- December 26 Over 15,000 hold peace rally in Kathmandu
- January 2 Nepalese media falsely reports two children being killed in Dailekh district by a Maoist bomb.
- January 4 Three government security personnel and reports of between two and twenty-four Maoist rebels killed in fighting.
- January 8 Maoists detain and later release 300 passengers from six buses that defied their blockade of Kathmandu.
- January 10 Prime Minister Deuba said he will increase defense spending to fight the Maoists unless they come forward for talks with the government.
- January 11 Protests and blockades over government fuel price increases between 10% to 25%.
- January 15 Maoists allegedly detain 14 Indian Gurkhas from Chuha village in Kailali.
- February 1 King Gyanendra dissolves parliament and bans all news reports.
- February 28 Indian Army intervenes and is first spotted in Nepal, killing 32 members of the People's Liberation Army.
- Government of Nepal News Agency
- The Revolutionary Worker
- A World to Win! News Service
- Nepal Maoists, live news feed, nonauthoritative
News articles and press releases
- BBC Q&A on Conflict
- Strategypage: Military news about Nepal.
- AFP via Australian Broadcasting Corporation, More die in Nepal Maoist insurgency despite truce call, September 28, 2003.
- A World to Win! via HumanRights.de.
- Alarming Development: India Intervenes in Nepal
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