UNMIN imminent pull out sparks row in Nepal

The issue sparked a row between the ruling alliance and the main Opposition.

Last Updated: Dec 25, 2010, 22:31 PM IST

Kathmandu: Just weeks ahead of the withdrawal of the key UN agency tasked to monitor Nepal`s stalled peace process, the issue has sparked a row between the ruling alliance and the main Opposition Maoists who want the term of the UNMIN to be extended.

The ruling 22-party alliance today held a key meeting to decide on the future course of action in the country after the withdrawal of United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). The world body established the 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 UNMIN`s extended tenure is set to expire on January 15, 2011.

Amid a demand by the UCPN (Maoist) to extend the tenure of (UNMIN), the caretaker government made it clear that there was no rethink on the January 15 withdrawal of UNMIN.
During a meeting earlier this month with UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala had expressed dissatisfaction over the role of UNMIN.

The ruling alliance has accused UNMIN of favouring the Maoists.

The meeting chaired by caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal today agreed to bestow the responsibility of rehabilitating the former Maoist combatants to the Special Committee after the exit of UNMIN, the Kantipur online reported.
Nepali Congress President Koirala, CPN-UML leader KP Oli, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum- Loktantrik chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadhar, Terai-Madhes Loktantrik Party chief Mahanta Thakur, CPN (ML) General Secretary CP Mainali, Sadhbhawana Party head Rajendra Mahato were among the leaders present at the meeting.

As the country marked the fourth anniversary of the 2006 pact last month, foreign envoys in Nepal said they were concerned at the lack of progress on the rehabilitation and integration of former Maoist combatants with the security forces.

UN General Secretary Ban-Ki-Moon has also expressed concern over the failure of the political parties to break the deadlock over the formation of a new government.

In his report to the UNSC earlier this year, the Secretary General was concerned that the major commitments of the peace pact and the peace process remained unfulfilled.

The country has been in political limbo since the June 30 resignation of Prime Minister Nepal. Despite a series of polls, the parliament has been unable to elect a new leader, prolonging the leadership crisis in the country.

Political tensions have been high in Nepal since a government led by the Maoists resigned last year, amid a dispute with President Ram Baran Yadav over the reinstatement of former army chief Rukmangad Katawal, who was dismissed by the Prachanda-led government in May 2009.

PTI