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Nepal: UN stresses its need for impartiality in Government request for Maoist data

25 February 2010 – The top United Nations envoy in Nepal today discussed with the Government its request for confidential data on Maoist army personnel, stressing the world body’s need to maintain impartiality in backing the peace process that ended more than a decade of civil war between Maoist rebels and the former monarchy.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Representative Karin Landgren told Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Rakam Chemjong that the sharing of such data may be considered under suitable conditions, for example by the Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee (JMCC) in which the modalities for registration and confidentiality were originally agreed.

The JMCC is responsible for resolving questions relating to implementation of the Agreement on Monitoring the Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA) under which the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) monitors the compliance of both the former Royal Nepal Army and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) following the 2006 peace accord ending their conflict, which killed some 15,000 people and displaced 100,000 others.

Under the Agreement, the army agreed to register and safely store an equivalent number of weapons to those stored by the Maoist army, which was also confined to cantonments.

“UNMIN reiterated to the Ministry its readiness to assist in a manner which would not require the Mission to compromise United Nations obligations or impartiality,” the Mission said in a statement after the meeting.

The issue of the number of Maoist army personnel present in cantonments was also discussed. “It is the responsibility of the signatories to the AMMAA to provide accurate and updated numbers on their current personnel strength,” UNMIN said. “Neither the Nepal Army nor the Maoist army has done so, an issue which was again brought to their attention at the Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee of 24 February 2010.”

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