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Gurkha ex-servicemen to assist UN arms programme

The former soldiers have claimed they could accomplish the job of monitoring and managing arms if given the mandate.

india Updated: Dec 09, 2006 17:08 IST

Wanting to be a part of the ongoing UN arms management in Nepal, ex-soldiers of the Indian and British army have said their inclusion would help the process as they were acquainted with the geographical terrain and understood the psychology of the Maoists.

The armymen have claimed they were competent and could accomplish the job of monitoring and managing the arms and the armies if given the mandate, General (retd) CP Gurung said on Friday.

The UN representative to Nepal Ian Martin on Friday signed an arms management agreement between the government and the Maoists, paving the way for a monitoring team from the world body to begin its work in assisting the peace process.

Gurung, who was also a military advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, said Nepali expertise must be utilised in restoring permanent peace in the country.

The government and the Maoists had requested the UN mission to allow them to hire the ex-Gurkhas for initial deployment at the seven cantonment sites.

However, the UN representative to the country said the world body may explore the possibility of deploying ex-servicemen if the government wanted to hire them locally.

The Gurkha ex-servicemen understand the psychology and language of the Maoists and they are well acquainted with geographical terrain, vice-president of Gurkha Ex-servicemen Nepal, Purna Singh Khatri said.

The Nepal government and the Maoists last week signed an agreement to manage the arms and armies under UN monitoring.

First Published: Dec 09, 2006 17:08 IST