Country Reports on Terrorism 2007 - Nepal

While Nepal experienced no significant acts of international terrorism, several incidents of domestic terrorism and politically-motivated violence occurred in urban areas and in the Terai. In 2007, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists), a designated organization on the Terrorism Exclusion List (TEL), became part of the interim government. Despite ending their ten-year insurgency by signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in November 2006, and entering into the interim government in April 2007, the Maoists, the only U.S.-designated terrorist organization in Nepal, continued to engage in violence, extortion, and abductions. The Maoists withdrew their ministers from the interim government between September and December, but left their members in place in the interim Parliament. The government failed to hold the Maoists accountable for violating the peace process, and law enforcement efforts against terrorist activity were minimal. The Maoist People's Liberation Army (PLA) ostensibly settled into UN-monitored cantonments but at times attempted to circumvent the disarmament and combatant verification process. The Maoist-affiliated Young Communist League, which included former PLA members, grew increasingly prominent during the year, carrying on the Maoist militia's tactics of abuse, abduction, assassination, intimidation, and extortion in cities and villages.

Ethnic tensions increased in the southern Terai plains. From mid-January to early March, as Madhesis (Terai inhabitants culturally and linguistically close to India) protested against the failure of the interim constitution and the interim government to address their concerns, an occasionally-violent popular uprising, the Madhesi Andolan, left many dead. Over a dozen extremist groups in pursuit of independence or autonomy and some criminal elements followed the Maoist lead of "negotiation" via armed struggle. Competing factions of Madhesis clashed with each other, with the Maoists, with hill-origin Nepalis, and with police, instigating numerous strikes, demonstrations, and Indo-Nepal border road closures. The most violent of these groups were factions of the Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (People's Terai Liberation Front), which had broken with the Maoist-affiliated Madhesi Mukti Morcha (Madhesi Liberation Front) insurgency in 2004 in order to bring about the secession of the Terai from the rest of Nepal. The Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha factions became increasingly more violent through 2007, despite splitting into five factions by the end of the year. The Maoists exacerbated bloodshed in the Terai in a scramble to regain influence it had lost in the region. On March 21, confrontation between Maoists and Madhesis at a rally in Gaur resulted in the massacre of over 25 people, most of them Maoists. The Government of Nepal largely ignored the conflict in the Terai.

Anti-money laundering legislation remained stalled in Parliament, although the government responded favorably to U.S. requests to be prepared to freeze the assets of individuals and entities involved in the financing of terrorism when or if such assets were discovered. The United States provided substantial antiterrorism assistance and training to Nepal's security forces, including courses on crisis management, post-blast investigations, and terrorist crime scene investigations.

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