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Nepal Army and PLA on high alert; Nepalis fear revocation of civil war

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Nepal Army (NA) and Armed Police Force (APF) on Tuesday ordered their troops to remain on high alert in connection with the coming May Day rallies called by the United Communist Party Maoist (UCPN-M), government sources confirm.

Meanwhile the UCPN-M has also ordered its People's Liberation Army (PLA) to stay on high alert, media reports state.

The PLA is in the 27 UN-monitored cantonments as per the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) signed between the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and the Maoist Party on 21 November 2006.

The crisis of confidence between the stakeholders of the peace process deepened after the former Maoist rebels won more than 50 percent seats in the Constituent Assembly elections held on 10 April 2008. After the CA elections, the then Prime Minister and the Nepali Congress (NC) President late Girija Prasad Koirala refused to resign from his post for almost four months saying that Maoists were illegible to head the government because they were not proven democrats.

When the Maoists, in the capacity of the largest party elected, formed a coalition government after Koirala resigned, the NC refused to join the coalition government saying the NC would not be a subordinate to Maoists.

Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Maoist Chairman and the then coalition Prime Minister, in May 2009, faced the toughest challenge from then then Nepal Army Chief Rookmangud Katuwal. As a consequence of Katuwal's presence as a parallel force within the Maoist-led coalition government, Prachanda took action against the defying Army Chief. In response to this action, the NC, UML and other parties aligned with Katuwal and formed another alliance against the former rebels.

This has deepened the crisis of confidence in the peace process. Maoists have been campaigning against the current coalition government headed by UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, who has aligned with monarchists trying to restore monarchy with the help of the Nepal Army led by the generals extremely loyal to former king Gyanendra.

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