Asked about Child Soldiers in Nepal, State Department Spokesman, Ian Kelly said the department is concerned about the lack of progress on releasing young soldiers, by the maoist Communist Party of Nepal.
It has been almost two years since the maoists and political parties in Nepal, assisted by the UN, US and EU, pressured Nepal’s King to relinquish power. Part of the agreement between the maoists and the politicians was that the maoists would release those young soldiers.
The unknown questioner made reference to “the army” but these child soldiers are not in the Royal Nepal Army, they were forcibly recruited into the maoist army.
The questioner asked: “What is U.S. response to Nepal’s reported recruitment of minors in the army? Reports say 3,000 under aged children have been recruited already and that the UN Secretary-General could possibly send a representative to Nepal to look into this issue.”
Ian Kelly said “We are concerned about the lack of progress in the discharge of approximately 4,000 disqualified personnel, including minors, from the United Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist cantonments in Nepal.
The successful discharge of these disqualified personnel – and their rehabilitation and reintegration into Nepali society – is a critical step in moving forward in Nepal’s peace process. We call on all parties in Nepal to build consensus on this issue.”