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Diplomats from Security Council members tour barracks in Nepal

23 October 2009 – A team of Nepal-based diplomats from six Security Council members today visited army barracks and cantonment sites in the Asian country as part of their first collective tour since the establishment of a United Nations political mission there in 2007.

Accompanied by Karin Landgren, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, the team saw first-hand how UNMIN is electronically monitoring weapons, which are under live surveillance, stored by the Nepal Army at Chhauni barracks and by the Maoist army in Chulachuli.

“That there is a light UN monitoring presence speaks to the confidence that the AMAAA [Agreement on Monitoring the Management of Arms and Armies] will be respected by the parties,” Ms. Landgren, who also heads UNMIN, said.

She underscored that there have been few serious violations of the agreement, which was struck between the parties and the UN, and the mission has made recommendations to both the Nepal Army and the Maoist army on how to enhance monitoring and cooperation.

The Council mission – comprising Nepal-based diplomatic representatives of China, France, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – was also briefed today by some UNMIN arms monitors, who come from 18 countries.

“The presence of weapons containers and arms monitors reflects the unfinished business of the peace process, and UNMIN calls on the parties to make strengthened and sincere efforts to create the conditions for UNMIN to complete its work and for Nepal’s peace process to usher in a stable, just and prosperous future for its people,” Ms. Landgren noted.

A decade-long civil war, claiming some 13,000 lives, ended in 2006 with the signing of a peace accord between the Government and Maoists. After conducting Constituent Assembly elections in May 2008, the nation abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and declared itself a republic.

UNMIN was established in 2007 as a special political mission tasked with helping advance the peace process. It has been extended through January 2010 to assist in the management of arms and army personnel contained in the cantonments.

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