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Nepal army warned against recruitment

world Updated: Dec 24, 2008 11:14 IST
UN warns

A UN envoy has urged Nepal's army and the Maoist former guerrillas not to enlist new recruits over concerns that such a move could cause fresh trouble in the Himalayan nation.

The United Nations wants both parties to honour a peace deal that ended a decade-long civil war that killed thousands.

Ian Martin, special representative of the UN Secretary-General in the Himalayan nation, made the plea after the Nepal army began a recruitment drive to fill vacancies.

"Any new recruitment by the Nepal army or the Maoist army would be a breach of the Ceasefire Code of Conduct, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Agreement on Monitoring the Management of Arms and Armies," Martin said in a statement.

The former rebels, who have confined thousands of their fighters to UN monitored camps under the deal, say they should also be allowed to recruit new personnel.

The Maoists, who waged a decade-long civil war against the former monarchy since 1996, are now heading a new government after winning the April election for a special assembly.

The government is meant to rehabilitate more than 19,000 ex-fighters whose future is key to a lasting stability in a nation emerging from years of conflict.