2. Nepal Civil War
Marxism is founded on the idea of a proletariat revolution, culminating in the end of exploitation and essentially the creation of “peace on Earth.” Throughout the 20th century, however, Communist groups perpetuated numerous armed conflicts. The Civil War in Nepal, which was conducted from 1996 to 2006, is another such war.
While Communist conflicts earlier in the 20th century often involved the United States and Soviet Union locking horns, this civil war appears to have been more home-grown.
Most experts don’t believe that China was involved in the Nepali civil war, even though the Communists in Nepal adhered to a Maoist (read: Chinese) variation of communism. Nepal and China have had generally good relations over the past several decades.
The Maoists in Nepal wanted to overthrow the Monarch, King Gyanendra, and to establish a People’s Republic. Initially, however, the insurgency was fought primarily between the Communists and the police. Most of the early attacks focusing on rural police stations.
The Royal Army stayed out of the conflict for a time, viewing it as a police issue. As the situation worsened, however, the Royal Army became more directly involved. Maoists also began to target army barracks.
Eventually, criticism of the monarchy was completely outlawed. The government also persecuted journalists, and was accused of various other war crimes. While the government was able to maintain control of cities, much of rural Nepal fell under Communist control. In response to the Maoist insurgency, King Gyanendra suspended Nepal’s Constitution.
Following this, facing widespread protests Gyanendra was forced to re-institute the same parliament just two years later. Two years after that, the parliament absolved the Monarchy, declaring Nepal a republic in 2008.
The Monarch’s assets were placed in public trusts, and democracy was declared. Communist forces were also legitimized by the government. In many ways, the Communists could claim victory as many of their key demands were met.
The Maoist Communist Party of Nepal is still an active and powerful political force. Currently, the party controls 80 of the 575 seats in the Constituent Assembly. The former king of Nepal, Gyanendra, is still alive, but no longer has any formal power.
It’s believed that as many as 17,000 people were killed.