Integration kicks off amid disorder in PLA ranks
N24, KATHMANDU: National army has has taken control of the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA), its cantonments,and the weapons thus putting an end to uncertainty over integration of the two armies.
That came by following decision of the all-party Special Committee for the Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants on Tuesday.
Now on army will be responsible for the security of the 15 remaining Maoist cantonments, including its infrastructure.
There are 9,700 combatants in the cantonments still while the arms add up to 3000. A little over 7,000 fighters who voluntarily retired with cash packages left the camps in mid February. Moreover 12 satellite camps were shut down in March.
Meanwhile last week, the SC had decided that there would be another round of regrouping in the cantonments thus giving another chance for voluntary retirement.
The purpose was to boil down the numbers to 6,500.
Ironically Maoist combatants have been reported to have run out of patience and hence thrown tantrums at the commanders demanding voluntary retirement than integration with the army.
Tension rose over determination of position in the army before integration happens. Supporters of Mohan Baidya who have left the liberation army earlier on have joined those disenchanted now to protest the way rank determination was being dropped.
However the latest move has now removed any hurdble in the path of the peace process since the tension has been removed.
In what is billed to defuse tension in the army, the parties have agreed to keep the option of retirement open even after integration.