Ending speculation, the Nepal government has announced that former Maoist combatants would be monitored by a special committee (SC) once the UN mission leaves the country.
The government response comes amid concern expressed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on how the former rebels and their arms would be monitored after the UN body ends operations on January 15.
In a letter to UNMIN chief Karin Landgren, the Nepal government stated that SC secretariat comprising representatives of all major parties will take over the UN mission’s job.
It informed that democratization of Nepal Army as part of the peace deal has already begun and a report in this regard has been sent to all parties.
All other issues including monitoring of arms, dispute resolution mechanism and transfer of essential documents and mechanism used by UNMIN would be handled by the SC, the letter added.
Stating the fresh mechanism should be in operation for the “shortest possible period”, it urged SC to expedite rehabilitation and integration process of PLA combatants.
The UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) was monitoring both Maoist Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) personnel and Nepal Army as part of the peace deal since January 2007.
But with the peace process not coming to an end despite several extensions of UNMIN’s tenure, it will be the special committee’s task to ensure rehabilitation and integration of the 19,000 PLA personnel.
Differences among Maoists and other parties over both issues have delayed completion of the peace process and affected drafting of the new constitution—both of which have to be completed by May 28.
Nepal has been without an effective government for the past six months and despite 16 rounds of voting in parliament lawmakers have failed to elect a new prime minister.
There is also lack of agreement on UNMIN. The Maoists have sent a letter to Moon seeking another extension till May, but the government is clear that it should leave Nepal on January 15.