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Carter Center: Clashes Between Nepal's Political Party Youth Wings Have Decreased But YCL and UML Youth Force Continue to Seek Financial Gain

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Contacts: In Atlanta, Deborah Hakes +1 404-420-5124; In Kathmandu, Sarah Levit-Shore +977 1 444-5055/1446

Kathmandu…In a report released today, Carter Center observers found that overall clashes between Nepal's political party youth wings appear to have decreased. However, many activities of the Maoist-affiliated Young Communist League (YCL) and, to a lesser extent, the CPN-UML Youth Force [1] remain targeted toward financial gain, and youth wing activity continues to have a negative impact on security in many districts.

"Political party youth wings have the potential to play a positive role in Nepal," said Dr. David Pottie, associate director of the Carter Center's Democracy Program. "However, we have found the YCL and the CPN-UML Youth Force engaged in interference with tender processes, taxation, and other activities that undermine political space, development, and public security."

The Carter Center's report also covers Maoist compliance with the June 2008 agreement to terminate the YCL's "paramilitary functioning."  The Center found that there is no shared definition of the term "paramilitary," thus leading to confusion and difficulty in evaluating compliance.

The large majority of YCL sites visited by Carter Center observers did not appear to be organized in a military-style hierarchy.  However, observers did find one site in Kaski that was intended to serve as a "rapid response force" and where cadres appeared to be unable to leave without permission from their superiors.  Observers also found cases where YCL cadres were living communally in private and sometimes public buildings, but found no evidence in these cases of a military-style hierarchy.

Overall, there have been very few public activities conducted by political party youth wings since June 2010.  The UCPN(M) and UML appear to have the most active youth wings, with the Nepali Congress, Madhesi parties, and other smaller party youth wings conducting only limited activities at the local level.  Members report undertaking constructive activities such as community service and development works but these appear mostly low-profile and are often difficult to verify.  Observers also heard many reports of negative youth wing activities, primarily involving the YCL and, to a lesser extent, the CPN-UML Youth Force.  The Federal Limbuwan State Council Limbuwan Volunteers were also implicated in negative activities in the Eastern hills.

The report is based on recent findings of Carter Center observers throughout the country, who have observed the post-election peace and constitutional drafting process since June 2009.  The Center collected information on youth wings in 30 districts through interviews with political party youth wing members, district administration officials, political parties, civil society, and citizens.  The Center's report looks into who joins political party youth wings, what they receive, and what their aspirations are after joining.  It also addresses what kinds of activities political party youth wings engage in and to what degree these activities are in compliance with the peace process agreements signed by their mother parties.  An annex at the end of the report provides information on individual youth wing organizations such as self-reported membership estimates and organizational structures.

Read the full report in English (PDF) >
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Previous Carter Center reports on Nepal's peace and constitutional drafting process may be found at


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Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production.  The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University to advance peace and health worldwide.  Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center. 


[1] The CPN-UML Youth Force was established in 2008 to counter the YCL, but in December 2009 was transferred under the direct control of the party in an effort to address concerns about allegations of negative Youth Force activities.  However, this decision was unevenly implemented and in many districts the Carter Center continued to hear reports of concerning UML Youth Force activities.

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