UN concerned over Nepal`s peace process as it wraps up mission

The chief of the UN peace mission in Nepal said the UNMIN will wrap up its task.

Kathmandu: The chief of the UN peace
mission in Nepal on Monday said the UNMIN will wrap up its task,
but there was no clarity as to who would manage the arms and
armed personnel of the Maoists and the military after its exit
by the end of this week.

UN Special Envoy Karin Landgren, the chief of the
UNMIN, said operations will cease from Saturday after four

However, she was unsure who will assume monitoring

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.

Landgren, who returned from New York after presenting
her report to the UNSC last week, appealed to the deadlock
political parties to form consensus on the future monitoring
of the Maoist combatants and Nepal Army after the withdrawal
of UNMIN on January 15.

"What we hope to see most importantly is agreement on
future monitoring arrangements. We have always said that we
want to see an orderly departure for UNMIN. And, we can have
that orderly departure when the parties have agreed on the
future of the monitoring," she said at a press conference in
the capital.

"So from UNMIN`s perspective, that is the single most
important thing to agree in the next five days," she said,
adding "Obviously, if they can come to a broader agreement on
other outstanding peace process issues, that`s a plus as

Landgren said she was not sure what exactly would be
done to the arms that are under UNMIN monitoring.

"I can`t speak to what happens with these arms after
UNMIN leaves. As you know, the handling of these arms has
always been left in the trust of the parties themselves," she
said, adding "the peace process still faces some significant

The government last week said a special committee
headed by the prime minister, with representatives from all
major political parties including the Maoists, will take over
the task of monitoring the peace process.

The Maoists, who joined mainstream politics after a
decade-long insurgency in 2006, has accused the mainstream
parties of trying to isolate the former rebels so that they
are deprived of leading another coalition.

The withdrawal of the UNMIN has created new
differences between the main opposition Maoists and the
22-party ruling coalition headed by the CPN-UML.

The caretaker government no longer wants the Nepalese
army to be subject to monitoring, and wants supervision of
the PLA camps to be handed over to a specially formed
all-party committee.

But the Maoists oppose the move as it would go against
the 2006 peace agreement and have asked the UN to extend its
mission by another four months.

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.