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Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title The green roots of red rebellion: Environmental degradation and the rise of the Maoist movement in Nepal
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
URL http://www.uvm.edu/~shali/Maoist.pdf
Nepal has been suffering from the worst crisis of its history since 12 February 1996. Since
the onset of Maoist insurgency -- (the Maoists call it ‘People’s War’)- more than 7000 people --
including state forces, insurgents and innocent civilians -- have lost their lives and many
thousands are internally displaced in violent conflicts in the country1
. The conflict was initiated
from socially and economically deprived western hills of the Kingdom, but the web of violence
swept through the entire country rapidly. On 26 November 2001 the state of emergency was
imposed in the country. The government has deployed the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) to remote
areas considered to be strongholds of the insurgents. However, several ‘successful’ attacks by
the insurgents on many district headquarters and government infrastructure suggest that almost a
year of SOE was anything but successful in curbing the violence in Nepal.
High profile visits to Nepal by the U.S. Secretary of State (January, 2002), followed by
inspection of insurgency areas by the U.S. Ambassador to Nepal and U.S. military officials (April,
2002) “to evaluate the military needs of Nepalese government,” highlight the international
importance of the conflict2
. These activities will have direct repercussion on Nepal’s relations with
its two giant neighbors- China and India. Political analysts fear that such international involvement
and the severity of the ongoing civil war could be an indication that Nepal is fast becoming a
'failed state' and thus a playground of geopolitical actors.

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