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World News

TIMELINE: Milestones in Nepal's march to peace

(Reuters) - Nepal went to polls on Thursday to elect a constituent assembly, the centerpiece of a 2006 peace deal between the government and the former Maoist rebels, who ended their civil war and joined electoral politics.

The following is a chronology of how the Maoist war began and the march towards peace:

1994 - The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is founded by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known by his nom de guerre Prachanda.

February 1996 - Maoists, who oppose the Himalayan country’s constitutional monarchy, launch a “people’s war” to establish a single party communist republic.

Feb 2005 - King Gyanendra takes absolute power vowing to crush the Maoists.

Sept 2005 - Maoist rebels announce unilateral ceasefire but royalist government rejects it.

Nov 2005 - Maoists join a loose alliance with the seven main political parties to end royal rule.

Jan 2006 - Rebels end ceasefire.

April 2006 - King Gyanendra gives up absolute power after widespread protests. Veteran politician Girija Prasad Koirala, sworn in as prime minister, invites rebels for talks.

June 2006 - New government agrees with Maoists to dissolve parliament and form interim administration that includes rebels.

Nov 2006 - Prime Minister Koirala and rebel chief Prachanda sign a peace deal, ending a civil war that killed more than 13,000 people.

Jan 2007 - Parliament scraps old constitution and adopts new interim constitution. Maoists control 84 seats in the 329-member interim legislature.

Dec 2007 - The ruling alliance and the Maoists agree to abolish the monarchy after the elections.

Feb 2008 - Ethnic Madheshi groups call a strike demanding autonomy which brings much of the economy to a standstill.

Feb 2008 - The government seals a deal with most Madheshi groups to end the protests.

Compiled by Gopal Sharma

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