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Nepal Govt, Maoists welcome UN appointment

UN chief Kofi Annan appoints his personal representative for the peace process in Nepal.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2006 05:53 IST
Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse

The Nepal government and Maoist rebels welcomed a move on Saturday by UN chief Kofi Annan to name Ian Martin as his personal representative for the peace process in the kingdom.

"I am happy to have Ian Martin as the personal representatives of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for Nepal's peace process," said Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Nepal's Home Minister.

Martin was the right man for the job as he had already headed the United Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal for just over a year, the home minister added.

The rebels also praised the appointment of Martin who earlier served as Annan's special envoy to East Timor.

"We have always supported the UN and this time too we want to make a commitment that we will fully cooperate with the UN team in managing arms and armies," said Maoist spokesman Krishna Bahadur Mahara.

The UN has said the emissary would begin his assignment immediately and would be assisted by a small multi-disciplinary team in advising the parties in areas where the organisation has been asked to help.

These include human rights monitoring, the management of arms and armed personnel on both sides, monitoring the code of conduct during the ceasefire and electoral observation.

Arms management has been a key issue since the government agreed to a Maoist demand for elections to a constituent assembly that will rewrite the constitution and decide the monarchy's future.

First Published: Aug 27, 2006 05:53 IST