South Asia Monitor: Nepal: Maoist Insurgency - March 1, 2001
March 1, 2001
Nepal, sandwiched between two Asian giants, India and China, is suffering from the worst political crisis in its history. A constitutional democracy--established thanks to the protests of a broadly supported "People's Movement" in 1990--has been unable to contain a five-year old Maoist insurgency. By the middle of February 2001, the insurgency had claimed 1,500 to 2,000 lives. The movement feeds on poverty, discontent with repressive policies, and corruption. The highly confrontational character of the country's mainstream politics has been a weak counterweight. The outlook is for continued unrest, with potential danger to American organizations and to the security of neighboring parts of India.