UN orders end to Nepal peace mission in January

The UN gives Nepal`s rival factions four months to settle their differences.

New York: The United Nations on Wednesday gave Nepal`s rival factions four months to settle their differences and negotiate a government settlement, with the UN Security Council ordering its peace mission there to end in January.

A UN Security Council resolution called on the Nepalese government and the Maoist opposition to speed up efforts with the UN mission (UNMIN) to complete a peace process to formally end the country`s conflict.

UNMIN went to Nepal after the decade of fighting ended in 2006, with a mandate to monitor the rival government and Maoist armies and oversee peace efforts.

Deep splits between the two parties have hampered the drafting of a new Constitution and the integration of thousands of Maoist fighters into the national Army. UN officials complain that the mission has been unfairly dragged into the political battles of recent months.

In a report last week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the two sides to end their squabbling. And an accord signed on Monday by Nepal`s caretaker Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition Maoist party pledged to complete the peace process by January 14, 2011.

The Security Council resolution extended the UNMIN mission until January 15 but stressed that the UN workers would then leave.

The Council called on "all political parties in Nepal to expedite the peace process, and to work together in a spirit of cooperation, consensus and compromise in order to complete the transition to a durable long-term solution to enable the country to move to a peaceful, democratic and more prosperous future."

It said both sides should do more to "promote the safety, security and freedom of movement of UNMIN and associated personnel" in Nepal.

Part of the UNMIN task has been to monitor the transfer of thousands of Maoist fighters into government ranks and their weaponry. The Security Council said a clear timetable for the "rehabilitation" of Maoist fighters had to be set.