The root causes of the conflict in Nepal included feudalism, the exclusion of minorities, weak governance and government neglect, with the result that most districts and villages experienced tensions. It was partly a rural revolt against perceived discrimination and neglect. Peace at the local level had to be secured, or it would undermine the entire peace process.
In March 2007, the government of Nepal decided to create a Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (www.peace.gov.np/index-en.html), becoming the second nation in the world to have such a ministry.
The decision to establish Local Peace Councils (LPCs) was taken as early as 2005, but the implementation was difficult and became contested. Some questioned the independence of the LPCs when they became closely linked with and reliant upon the later established Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction. There was reluctance to establish joint multi-party control over the peace architecture. Approximately sixty LPCs have been formed, but their functioning is an issue.
NGOs/Civil society engagement
In the midst of Nepal's decade-long conflict between the government and the Maoist rebels, Nepal's civil society played a crucial role in mediating between the needs of special interests and those of the common good, due to the decade-old conflict, alienated from the mainstream democratic and development process. Various organised civil society groups in Nepal were formed and active during the conflict to put pressure on both sides to find a solution to the conflict.
Realising that it would be not be possible to put adequate pressure on the government by working individually, several broader alliances were established to help the peace process. Examples are the eleven member Talks facilitation Committee, the Nepal Peace Initiative Alliance (NPIA), the Civic Forum, Civic Peace Commission and several others.
Potential for enhancing Infrastructures for Peace
It has widely been perceived that the Comprehensive Peace Accord, concluded between the Government of Nepal and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) on November 21, 2006, and subsequent political developments have brought a decade-long armed conflict to a formal end and opened new avenues for the establishment of sustainable peace and socio-political transformation of the nation. Peace agreements signed by political leaders are often inadequate. Without a major effort for reconciliation at the grassroots, the destructive causes of conflict cannot be addressed or transformed into sustainable, ‘positive' peace. In order to avoid the unfavourable situations and to mitigate the adverse impacts on social, economic and political life of the nation caused by the violent conflict, it is vitally necessary to timely address its root causes and take appropriate measures for its resolution.