DISARMAMENT, DEMOBILIZATION AND REINTEGRATION, AND SECURITY SECTOR REFORM IN NEPAL: A PRELIMINARY SOCIOLOGICAL OBSERVATION
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 28 Mar 2010
Security Sector Reform (SSR) is a continuous process to all countries and regions, including politically stable states, fragile states, and post-conflict countries. However, it is widely understood that there need to be urgent SSR priorities in countries emerging from large-scale violent conflict. Over the years, Nepalese society has undergone deep structural shift – a full decade of violent political upheaval abolished the 240 year Shah Dynasty and established a federal republic. Right now, Nepal is poised at a decisive crossroads in its transition from armed conflict to post-conflict recovery and democratic government. Before the decade-long Maoists armed conflict, Nepal had not tolerated such an intense domestic violent crisis since the formation of the modern state. Nepal has long suffered from highly politicized security institutions. Politically, the state apparatus has been dominated by a few feudal elites who have been principally resistant to democratic reform. Particularly, the security sector has been much more complicated by nature of the long feudal-based autocratic political system.
In the long political history of Nepal, the military force was commanded by the dynastic monarchy or the hereditary Rana oligarchy. There has never been any precedent for maintaining civilian supremacy over the armed force. Highly use and misuse of national security agencies (army, police, and intelligence) by certain political parties for their specific ends creates further problems in the security sector. On the other side, it seems a more challenging situation in the security sector may occur in the coming days due to intense proliferation of hundreds of armed militant groups throughout the nation. The Maoists armies’ (re)integration into Nepal Army to form national army is again a major challenge to the nation. The demobilization and disarmament (DD) of the Maoists army under UNMIN supervision has already been completed. According to the agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies between the Nepal government and the Maoists on December 8, 2006, UNMIN has verified 19,602 Maoist combatants. These combatants have been living in seven main and 21-satellite cantonments (see table 2) under the UNMIN’s supervision, after the completion of registration. Under Resolution 1740 (2007) UNMIN has been given the mandate to monitor the management of arms and armed personnel of the Nepal Army and the Maoist army, in line with the provisions of the Compressive Peace Agreement (CPA) and assist the parties through a Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee (JMCC) in implementing their agreement on the management of arms and armed personnel.
The beginning of the Maoists armed movement triggered many other social, economic, and cultural crises in Nepal. Due to the escalation of the armed movement in rural areas, creating insecurity, thousands of Internal Displaced Peoples (IDPs) were created. Hundreds and thousand of young people have left the country looking for work. Similarly, the number of IDPs increased in urban centers in Nepal due to insecurity across the country. Extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrest, detention and abductions, extortions, torture and other inhumane degrading treatment along with the creation of IDPs are the greatest threats to security in present Nepal. To ensure the realization of security, to all victims’ families in particular, is the principal challenge of the security sector.
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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 28 Mar 2010.
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