Nearing The Precipice

The last time peace negotiations broke down in Nepal, the fallout was gruesome. Massed ranks of Maoist guerrillas bent on overthrowing the government fell on isolated police and army outposts across the country with terrifying savagery. The army responded in kind, and the death toll rocketed to nearly 8,000 within months of the truce's end in late 2001.

It may be about to happen again. Last week, the guerrillas issued a set of demands so lofty—the Nepalese army must not stray further than five kilometers from their barracks, peace talks must be directly with King Gyanendra or conducted...

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