Warring factions in Nepal signed a comprehensive peace agreement more than four years ago, but they are yet to settle disputes and build confidence among them. Due to their growing misunderstanding, the main agenda of the peace process is yet to be completed.
From integration of Maoist combatants to constitution writing, all these issues are now stalled and there is no sign that the warring factions will agree to settle them earlier and bring the peace process to a logical end.
In this context, Building Bridges of Peace in Nepal is an important idea. Edited by Dev Raj Dahal and C.D. Bhatta, the book includes five interesting articles which show how to find solutions for peace building in Nepal.
Written by Christian Wagner and Dev Raj Dahal, the article Building Bridges of Peace in Nepal discusses political deadlock and growing misunderstanding between the political forces which signed the comprehensive peace agreement.
“The weakness of Nepalese leaders in balancing the aspirations of citizens for constitutional state, justice and peace and their unrestrained instinct for power has generated a fear of uncertain future. The unfulfilled expectations of citizens for rights, justice, and identity have overwhelmed their capacity to govern democratically as their un-reined passions for sharing the spoils and patronage with clients and relatives frustrate the political will for getting support of the opposition parties for the necessary social and economic transformations,” write author duo Wagner and Dahal.
From the center to the local levels, conflict resolution remains a major challenge. Maoists are yet to return the confiscated property of the local people and the truth and reconciliation commission is yet to establish to heal the wounds of conflict. The rise of various local level armed groups in terai and rise of armed youth groups like YCL and Youth Force are creating more trouble in peace making process.
“Understanding Nepal’s multi-level conflicts thus requires contextual learning about the actors’ goals and means, and the interactions between the various internal and external forces and the environment. Here one can see tensions breeding in the transition from tradition to modernity and from active monarchy toward democracy,” write Dev Raj Dahal and C.D. Bhatta in their article Local Conflict Resolution Mechanism as Bridges of Peace.
Mass media have grown like mushrooms in the country and they can play crucial roles in the peace building process in Nepal. If the media can objectively play their role, they will be able to build the much-needed pressure on various actors.