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UN Security Council approves political mission in Nepal

The 186-member mission, to be headed by a special representative of the UN, will include monitors to keep watch at Maoist camps.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2007 11:28 IST

The UN Security Council has approved Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's proposal to set up a political mission in Nepal to assist the peace process.

A UN Mission in Nepal comprising 186 officials will be established initially for 12 months but can be extended.

The mission, to be headed by a special representative of the UN, will include monitors to keep watch at Maoist camps to ensure that the rebels do not take up the weapons they have begun to lay down.

A smaller team of electoral experts will also help with the June elections.

The mission will also include human rights monitors to promote a justice system accessible to all segments of society, especially women, Dalits, survivors of sexual violence and the rural poor.

Currently, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour is on a six-day tour of Nepal, urging the government to bring rights violators to justice and to disclose the whereabouts of hundreds missing since the Maoists began their armed uprising.

The UN Security Council last month approved of an advanced group of 35 arms monitors and 25 election experts to start aiding the Nepal peace process following a tripartite pact signed between Nepal's seven-party government, the Maoists and UN envoy in Nepal Ian Martin.

Although Nepal's communist rebels ended their war for the abolition of monarchy and signed a pact with the new government to let the upcoming election decide the fate of King Gyanendra, the kingdom continues to be racked by spurts of ethnic violence in the southern plains where people of Indian origin live.