Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Staying on



On 18 April UNMIN chief Ian Martin visited the prime minister's residence with a congratulatory message from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. During the visit Martin stated that UNMIN still has a lot to do in Nepal, and that their role will remain the same. PM Koirala said he needed to discuss the matter with the other parties.

Martin told reporters, "UNMIN's role is to bring the peace process to a logical conclusion, including army integration." However, on the same day the Maoist foreign affairs spokesman CP Gajurel said that the peace process is on course and there is no need to extend UNMIN's mandate again.

In fact, the Maoists have quite clearly said they do not want UNMIN to stay. The NC and UML, who supported UNMIN's role in the past, also sound disappointed with them now. UML leader Pradip Gyawali, who played a key role in the peace process, has said that UNMIN did not monitor the elections properly.

UNMIN's central office is in Kathmandu but they work in all five development regions. Arms monitors are present in all seven Maoist cantonments, the army barracks in Chauni, and in each district of the country.

The comprehensive peace agreement states that UNMIN is to monitor the decommissioning of arms and help in the process of integrating the NA and the PLA. Therefore, it doesn't seem like the mission will pack up and leave the process half-way through. The seven-party government and the Maoists both sent letter to the UK's secretary general to invite the mission to Nepal two years ago. Their mandate was initially one year, but was extended by six months in January and is due to end in July.

Observers believe the mission will stay on. No commission has been set up to oversee the army integration thus far. Even when it is set up the bureaucracy will take several months just to get started.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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