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UN Chief Urges Nepalese Leaders to Integrate Former Rebels


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Nepal's leaders need to hurry the process of rehabilitating thousands of former rebel soldiers.

Mr. Ban is in Nepal Saturday to assess the Himalayan country's two-year-old peace process.

The United Nations has supervised a 2006 peace deal that ended a decade-long civil war between Maoist rebels and Nepal's former government, which resulted in more than 13,000 deaths.

The former rebels won the majority of seats in April's election and now head Nepal's coalition government, after dissolving the monarchy.

Earlier this week, Nepal's government formed a multiparty panel to oversee the rehabilitation of 19,000 former Maoist rebel fighters. The ex-Maoist rebels have been living in camps under U.N. supervision since 2006. Officials say the committee will integrate the ex-rebels into Nepal's national army.

During his visit, Mr. Ban has met with Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known as "Prachanda," as well as Nepalese lawmakers.

He is expected to head to Bangladesh later Saturday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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