Nepal panel begins monitoring peace process as UNMIN wraps up

A special panel of security forces & Maoist combatants was deployed to monitor peace process.

Last Updated: Jan 16, 2011, 22:11 PM IST

Kathmandu: A special panel of security forces and Maoist combatants was deployed Sunday in different parts of the country to monitor the arms and army of the former rebels and the military as the UN wrapped up its peace
mission in Nepal.

The Special Committee deployed a joint team of
64-monitors -- comprising security forces and Maoist PLA
combatants -- in the seven main Maoist cantonments and the
Kathmandu-based arms container of the Nepali Army.

Eight monitors, two each from Nepal Army, Armed Police
Force, Nepal Police and the Maoist PLA, have been deployed at
the PLA cantonments and Nepal Army arms container.

The monitors took up the task of monitoring arms and
armies from yesterday.

The government and the main Opposition Maoists on
Friday reached an agreement on monitoring of the former armed
Maoist cadres lodged in special camps overseen by the UN
mission.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and UCPN-M Chairman
Prachanda agreed to hand over all monitoring functions -- the
arms and the army of the former rebels and the military --
shouldered by UNMIN to the Special Committee.

The international community, including the key
financial donor nations, praised a last minute deal between
government and the main opposition Maoists, but expressed
concern over the stalled peace process.

Thirteen heads of diplomatic missions in Nepal,
including ambassadors of UK and USA, welcomed the signing of a
three-point agreement between government and the UCPN-Maoist
on monitoring of peace process.

As the UN peace mission ended its mandate, the top
ambassadors expressed concern over the slow progress in the
peace process. They asked the political parties fulfill their
responsibilities in the near future.

Issuing a joint statement, the foreign envoys
expressed the hope that the Army Integration Special Committee
(AISC) formed by the government, with the representatives from
major political parties, will assume the monitoring
responsibilities from UNMIN.

"As UNMIN prepares to exit on January 16, we express
our appreciation and thanks to the Representative of the
Secretary General Karin Landgren and her team for their
efforts," said the statement on behalf of Australia, Canada,
Denmark, EU, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands,
Norway, Switzerland, UK and USA.

Karin Landgren, the outgoing special envoy of the
Secretary-General, also welcomed the agreement to continue the
monitoring of arms and armies after UNMIN’s exit.

"I hope the parties will build on this to implement
the long-awaited integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist
army personnel," she said.

Amid fears of chaos in Nepal, President Ram Baran
Yadav has asked the deadlocked political parties to form a new
government based on consensus. He asked the parties to elect a
Prime Minister before January 21 and form a new government on
the basis of national consensus.

PTI