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Nepal: Maoists announce 3-month ceasefire

Source: PTI
Last updated on: April 27, 2006 02:37 IST
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Maoist rebels in Nepal have announced a three-month unilateral ceasefire.

Making the announcement late Wednesday night, Maoist chief Prachanda, in a statement in Kathmandu, reiterated the rebels' demand for a Constituent Assembly to rewrite the Constitution.

Complete Coverage: Crisis in the Himalayan Kingdom

During the truce period, the Maoists will halt all types of military action, he said.

Prachanda said the Maoists were committed to the 12-point agreement they had reached with the Seven Party Alliance last November.

Earlier in the day, the Maoists withdrew their blockade of Kathmandu and district headquarters and set a two-day deadline to start the process to form a Constituent Assembly during the first meeting of the restored Parliament.

'Maoists will have to give up guns'

Prachanda had made that announcement shortly after prime minister-designate G P Koirala appealed to the rebels to withdraw their protests including economic blockade and assured them that the constituent assembly would be the main agenda of Parliament when it meets on Friday.

The rebels threatened to resume the blockades of highways leading to capital and other district headquarters if Parliament failed to set in motion the process for constituent assembly elections on Friday.

The Maoists had on Tuesday rejected King Gyanendra's proclamation restoring the 2002 Parliament and had attacked the alliance for accepting the monarch's offer, saying it was a betrayal of the aspirations of the Nepalese people.

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