Hundreds of former Maoist soldiers in Nepal have begun leaving camps for ex-rebels, where they have been held since a 2006 peace accord, to join the country’s national army or begin new lives.
The historic transition, part of a government plan of integration, follows a breakthrough peace deal signed on November 1 by the Maoists and the three other major political parties.
Under the deal, some 6,500 out of 19,000 former Maoist rebels will be integrated into the army while the remainder choose between retirement payoffs of $6300-$10,200 and a rehabilitation package that includes vocational training.
In total, almost 20,000 former Maoist rebels have been living in seven main camps in Nepal. They have been there since their 10-year uprising against the government ended in a ceasefire in 2006.
Al Jazeera’s Devin Greenleaf has more on this report.