Nepal plans to begin releasing almost 3,000 child soldiers who have spent the past three years confined in United Nations-monitored camps.
The government and former Maoist rebels agreed Wednesday on a plan to start freeing the former soldiers on December 27. Officials expect to complete the process in 40 days.
Under the plan, the former soldiers will have a choice of going to school or pursuing a job.
The child soldiers are part of a larger group of former Maoist fighters who have been living in camps since the rebels signed a peace deal with the government in 2006. The agreement ended their decade-long insurgency that killed more than 13,000 people.
The Maoists joined mainstream politics after giving up their armed revolt. They won elections last year but have since resigned from a coalition government, following a failed attempt to oust the head of the army.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.