UN to deploy 700 staff to help Nepal's peace process

Updated on Mar 26, 2007 02:10 PM IST

The UN plans to depute nearly 700 international staff including 186 military experts in Nepal.

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Reuters | By, Shirish B Pradhan

The United Nations is planning to depute nearly 700 international staff including 186 military experts in Nepal to help the country's peace process.

The UN staff will monitor Maoists' arms and observe elections in the country, an official at the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) said.

Currently over 100 UN staff including 70 arms monitors and 20 electoral experts are in the country, he said.

There will be nearly 400 Nepalese staff to support the UN's activities in Nepal.

The United Nations General Assembly has endorsed a budget of USD 88.8 million for monitoring arms and the armies in the country.

There are 31,000 Maoist combatants and 3,40 weapons confined in the UN monitored camps across Nepal as part of the peace process.

Meanwhile, UNMIN head in Nepal Ian Martin has said a significant number of people have been recruited by the Maoists after they signed ceasefire pact with the government on May 25, 2006.

He said both the minors and those recruited after the signing of the ceasefire pact will have to be discharged when the UNMIN begins the second phase of verification of the Maoist People's Liberation Army.

"I made it clear to the Maoist leadership that UNMIN believes that there are substantial numbers of minors in the cantonments as well as persons who were recruited after 25 May 2006, and I have sought their cooperation to rehabilitate them," he said at a press conference.

Martin also expressed sock over the killing of 29 Maoists during a clash with the Madhesi People's Forum in Rautahat near Indian border on Wednesday.

He expressed hope that the perpetrators of the killings will be identified and brought to justice.

"The confrontation in Rautahat could and should have been avoided," he said.

Martin also confirmed that the UNMIN had registered 96 weapons that were retained by the Maoists outside cantonments for the security of their leaders but added, the UN body did not appreciate the arms retained by the Maoists outside the cantonments.

He also expressed concern over the incidents of abductions and beatings of businessmen and others in Kathmandu and other parts of the country by the Maoists.

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