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Former rebels now Cabinet ministers

December 31, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

Former communist rebels rejoined Nepal's government, ending a political crisis that began when the ex-guerrillas walked out of a ruling coalition three months ago.

Five ex-rebels were appointed ministers by Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala as part of an agreement to end the crisis, Chief Secretary Bhojraj Ghimire said. The five are to take an oath of office today.

Two of the ministers will hold considerable power by controlling all state-run media and local development, including city and village councils. The others will oversee forests, soil conservation, planning, women's issues and social welfare.

The rebels agreed last year to give up a decade-long armed revolt. More than 13,000 people died in the fighting.

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