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UN mission in Nepal to back peace deal

A UN team will visit Nepal to set up a mission to build on last month's peace deal between government and Maoists.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 11:11 IST

A United Nations team will visit Nepal for setting up a full-fledged mission to build on last month's landmark peace deal between the government and the Maoists which seeks to end the decade-long violence that has claimed 15,000 lives.

A UN technical assessment mission, led by Secretary-General's Personal Representative Ian Martin, will be on the ground in Nepal from December 10 to December 16. The team will plan for a full-fledged UN mission to support the peace process, Chief UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday.

The team include members of Martin's staff based in Kathmandu as well as officials from Headquarters, with expertise in areas including political and military affairs, logistics and public information.

Plans are also underway to send more personnel as requested by the Nepalese government to assist with next year's poll and other issues, Dujarric said.

Recruitment, he said, continues for a team of up to 35 advance monitors to be deployed, ahead of a full-fledged mission, to monitor provisions of the Comprehensive Ceasefire and Peace Agreement signed by the Seven Party Alliance Government and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) on November 21.

"We also are proceeding with our efforts to recruit 25 electoral experts to assist in carrying out Constituent Assembly elections," Dujarric said.

Last Friday, the Security Council had backed Secretary-General Kofi Annan's intention to send the assessment team and also an advance group of up to 60 monitors.

Under the agreement, the rebels were to join the interim Parliament by November 26. An interim government inclusive of the rebels was to be in place by December 1. However, both the deadlines have been missed.

The interim government will hold elections for a 425-member Constituent Assembly by June 2007 to draft a new Constitution.

Also, the Maoists will confine their combatants in seven cantonments across Nepal under the UN supervision and their arms will be locked up.