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Nepal ex-rebels criticize US for refusing to remove them from terrorist list

Nepal ex-rebels criticize US for refusing to remove them from terrorist list

Nepal's former communist rebels criticized the U.S. Friday for keeping them on its terrorist list and for warning it will cut aid to areas of an interim government in which the ex-guerrillas will be involved.
"The U.S. welcomed the interim constitution and Parliament brought through the peace process, but at the same time they (the Americans) are saying they will not support the ministries to be led by us," said Chandra Prakash Gajurel, chief of Maoist rebels' foreign department.
"This just shows that how shortsighted and faulty the U.S. policies are." Gajurel said.
His remarks follow U.S. Ambassador James F. Moriarty recent interview with local newspapers, in which he said Washington would cut aid to government ministries that have Maoist interests after they join the government.
"We don't want to be giving assistance that the Maoist ministries take credit for," Moriarty was quoted as saying.
The United States has insisted that the Maoists improve their conduct and end their alleged intimidation and extortion of citizens.
"On several occasions, the (Maoists') central leadership had given orders that were very much against democracy, very much against their commitment," Moriarty was quoted as saying.
The Maoists joined a peace process and signed a truce last year to end the decade-old communist uprising that has killed more than 13,000 people.
They entered mainstream politics this year, joining an interim Parliament.
The former rebels are also set to join an interim government, which will hold elections in the middle of this year.
Despite his complaints, Gajurel said it will not make much difference if U.S. refuses to remove his from the terrorist list.
"There are many parties and groups in the world that are legitimate parties (who) refuse to bow down to U.S. policies, and they are all in their terrorist list," he said.
"We are moving ahead sincerely" in the peace process, "which proves that it does not matter how they treat us," he said. "The whole thing is ridiculous."
During the years of fighting between Nepal's government troops and the rebels, the U.S. gave millions of dollars (euros) in military aid to Nepal.
The rebels began handing over their weapons to U.N. arms monitors last week, and their fighters have been confined to camps until the elections are held.