Barely hours ahead of the UN special mission’s exit from Nepal, the government and opposition Maoists, signed a deal on Friday evening to monitor the peace process.
The three point agreement was signed by caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal after two rounds of meetings during the day.
As per the deal, a six member joint mechanism with three members from the special committee (SC) formed to monitor Maoist combatants after the UN mission in Nepal (UNMIN) departs and three members from the SC secretariat, would take over UNMIN’s task. After four years of monitoring arms and personnel of Maoists and the Nepal Army as part of a peace deal, UNMIN is scheduled to leave Nepal on Saturday without the peace process getting completed.
Giving rest to speculation as to what would happen after UNMIN’s exit, both, the government and Maoists agreed to respect past commitments on peace and conclude the peace process soon.
Differences between the Maoists and other parties, on how the 19,000 former combatants staying in cantonments would be integrated into security forces or rehabilitated, are delaying completion of the peace process.
As per Friday’s agreement, both parties urged UNMIN to leave behind logistics used in monitoring of combatants.
Absence of a proper mechanism agreed to by all parties after UNMIN’s departure was a cause of concern for the UN, as well as, the international community as it could have derailed Nepal’s fragile peace process.
Regretting insufficient progress made in the peace process, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had urged all parties to “redouble their efforts”.
Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav hailed the agreement between the Maoists and the government and hoped it would speed up the peace process.