Peaceful integration

The civil war in Nepal may have ended seven years ago, but it is still having an impact on the country today. GIZ offers former rebels and the poor living in rural areas career opportunities, and promotes peace and reconciliation dialogue.

In 2006, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Maoists and the seven Nepalese governing parties ended the ten-year civil war. The 19,600 members of the Maoist People’s Liberation Army were interned in 28 camps across the country, where they faced an uncertain future.

The Nepalese Government had equipped the camps with simple buildings that were not suitable for long-term accommodation. On behalf of BMZ, GIZ initially provided the necessary drinking water supply systems and effective health services. In addition, the company taught the internees how to maintain the infrastructure themselves. They could also attend training courses to improve their future prospects after leaving the camp. A total of 16,000 internees completed training as plumbers, electricians, masons, carpenters, tailors and computer and mobile phone specialists. The rest settled with their families in rural communities throughout the country. As poverty was prevalent in these communities even before the new residents joined them, the long-term residents and the newcomers had different expectations and experiences, causing some uncertainty in terms of how to behave.

Peaceful integration can only succeed if both the newcomers and established village residents share a vision for the future. The keys to peaceful and harmonious coexistence are working together to develop each community, creating opportunities to work and communicating with each other.

Consequently, in 40 selected communities that have absorbed a particularly high number of ex-combatants, GIZ is supporting around 5,000 of them and their families, as well as about 35,000 village residents, as they try to live peacefully with each other.

Men and women have the opportunity to learn a new profession in which they can then find a job or become self-employed. 5,000 long-term and new community members have since received training that will allow them to earn a good income. Ganesh Chaudhari is 24 years old. He was unemployed, but is now a plumber. ‘I get a lot of installation jobs in large construction projects, so I always have a full schedule and can pass on my skills to others,’ he explains.

A civil war leaves its mark on the entire population. GIZ has trained several mediators in a pilot project to help people come to terms with the past and to recognise conflict in good time. Each team consists of a respected personality from the village in question as well as two men and two women from among the long-term residents and newcomers to the communities. The village residents can talk about their painful wartime experiences and openly discuss current conflicts at community events and discussions.

This is an important step towards peace, stability and the long-term development of the country for the people.