The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) insurgency grew out of the increasing radicalization and fragmentation of left-wing parties following the emergence of democracy in 1990. The United People’s Front—a coalition of left-wing parties—participated in the 1991 elections, but the Maoist wing failed to win the minimum 3 percent of the vote leading to their exclusion from voter lists in the 1994 elections. In response, they abandoned electoral politics and in 1996 launched the insurgency. The Maoists’ ultimate objective is the takeover of the government and the transformation of society, probably including the elimination of the present elite, nationalization of the private sector, and collectivization of agriculture.
The Maoist insurgency largely engages in a traditional guerrilla war aimed at ultimately overthrowing the Nepalese Government. In line with these efforts, the Maoist leadership has allowed some attacks against international targets in an attempt to further isolate the Nepalese Government. In 2002, Maoists claimed responsibility for assassinating two US Embassy guards, citing anti-Maoist spying, and in a press statement threatened foreign embassy—including the US—missions, to deter foreign support for the Nepalese Government. Maoists, targeting US symbols, also bombed Coca-Cola bottling plants in April and January 2002 and November 2001. In May, Maoists destroyed a Pepsi Cola truck and its contents.
Numbering in the thousands.