Nepal govt mulls top panel to replace UNMIN

The government has proposed the setting up of a top panel tasked to monitor Nepal`s former Maoist combatants after next month`s withdrawal of the UN agency UNMIN.

Last Updated: Dec 04, 2010, 20:40 PM IST

Kathmandu: The government has proposed the setting up of a top panel tasked to monitor Nepal`s former
Maoist combatants after next month`s withdrawal of the UN agency UNMIN.

A group of ministers led by Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar briefed visiting UN Under
Secretary-General B Lynn Pascoe about the proposal to set up the body to monitor the former Maoist combatants, myrepublica online, the website of the Republica newspaper, quoted sources
as saying.

Non-Maoist members of a Special Committee responsible for integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants also shared the plan with the UN official, according to Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, who represents the Nepali Congress on the top panel.

According to the government proposal, some 154 ex-army men will supervise the former Maoist fighters who are currently being monitored by UNMIN since 2007.

However, the plan has been opposed by the Maoists. Pascoe met senior Nepalese leaders here to prepare for next month`s smooth withdrawal of the UNMIN, amid the political deadlock that has derailed Nepal`s peace process.

The top UN official has met top leaders, including President Ram Baran Yadav, Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala and Maoists chief Prachanda to discuss the political developments in the country, including the withdrawal of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) on January 15 next year.

During his talks Prachanda assured Pascoe that some concrete steps would be taken to complete the integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants, Sameer Dahal, an aide of Maoists chief was quoted as saying.

The standoff over the integration of the some 19,000 former Maoist guerrillas with the security forces has delayed the peace process.

Pascoe underlined the commitment of the UN to Nepal`s peace process and the need for a consensus among the political parties to swiftly implement the agreements on integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants housed in UN-monitored camps.

Pascoe, who was in India before arriving in Kathmandu yesterday on a two-day mission, held talks with Indian officials on the peace process.

The world body established the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) as a special political mission in 2007 with a mandate to manage the arms and armed personnel of the Maoists and the Nepal Army.
The country has been in a political limbo since the June 30 resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.

Nepalese lawmakers have failed to elect a new leader and put in place a government despite a series of run-off polls.

PTI