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CIAO DATE: 08/04
Nepal: Dangerous Plans for Village Militias
February 17, 2004
The Government of Nepal is creating local civilian militias - known as Rural Volunteer Security Groups and Peace Committees - in what risks becoming an alarming escalation of its conflict with Maoist rebels. Civilian militias are likely to become an untrained, unaccountable and undisciplined armed force that worsens a conflict that has already taken almost 9,000 lives. The scheme is controversial, and the government has publicly denied that it has already started distributing weapons despite evidence that it is indeed going ahead.