Special panel to monitor Nepal peace process after UNMIN

The caretaker government has said it would monitor the 19,000 combatants and arms of the Maoists.

Kathmandu: A special panel with representatives from major political parties, including the Maoists, will monitor Nepal`s stalled peace process after the exit of the UN agency UNMIN this month.

The caretaker government has said it would monitor the
19,000 combatants and arms of the Maoists, who are presently
housed in UNMIN supervised camps, after the United Nations
Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) departs on January 15.

The mandate of UNMIN, which was established by the
world body as a special political mission in 2007 to manage
the arms and armed personnel of the Maoists and the Nepal
Army, is set to expire on January 15, 2011. It has started the
process to begin the pull out from the country.

The Special Committee comprising representatives from
the major political parties, including the main Opposition
UCPN-Maoist, will shoulder the responsibility of monitoring
the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) of the Maoists and their
weapons, the government said.

"The Special Committee Secretariat will take charge of
supervising and monitoring functions currently being carried
out by the UNMIN," the government said in a letter sent to
UNMIN chief Karin Landgren.

Bimal Prasad Wagley, the Secretary at the Prime
Minister’s Office and the Council of Ministers, wrote the
letter to the UNMIN on behalf of the government yesterday.

The government has asked the UNMIN to hand over arms
containers, details of arms and armies, documents retained by
the Joint Monitoring Committee and other logistics.

The withdrawal of the UN agency has sparked a row
between the ruling alliance and the main Opposition, who want
the term of the UNMIN to be extended.

The ruling alliance, which has accused the UNMIN of
favouring the Maoists, has ruled out a rethink on the issue of
the withdrawal UNMIN.

UNMIN chief Karin Landgren has asked the government to
firm up plans for the integration of the former Maoist
guerrillas in the post-UNMIN period.

UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon has also sought
government’s view in the matter in his latest report to be
presented to the UN Security Council.

In his report, Ban has urged Nepalese political
parties to end the prolonged political deadlock that has
hampered progress in the peace process.

The country has been in political limbo since the June
30 resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Nepal. Despite a
series of polls, the parliament has been unable to elect a new
leader, stalling the 2006 peace process in the country.

PTI

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