Feels Tuesday’s historic pact addresses its concerns
By Phanindra Dahal
The Nepal Army (NA) has expressed its readiness to fully support the landmark deal signed by parties on Tuesday night on concluding the peace process, stating that its concerns have been addressed in the agreement that will see former Maoist combatants integrated into its ranks.
Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha leader Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar signed the deal expressing commitment to setting up a general directorate under the NA to integrate up to 6,500 Maoist fighters. The general directorate, according to the deal, will be deployed for infrastructure development, rescue and relief operations as well as forest and industrial security.
“We feel fortunate that the parties forged an agreement on integration modality that we had suggested,” said a two-star general, commenting on Tuesday’s seven-point agreement. “We are ready to extend our full support to the implementation of this decision.” Continue reading
SECURITY UPDATE By Anil Giri
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has claimed that the number of armed outfits operating across the country has significantly come down, thanks to the government’s operations against the groups that were launched nationwide one-and-a-half years ago.
While there were 108 groups earlier, only 26 of them are active now. According to MoHA Joint Secretary Sudhir Shah, who is also in charge of the Peace and Security Division at the ministry, only 10 armed outfits are active in the eastern hilly region while 16 are still operating in the Tarai and Madhes belt. Continue reading
There would be prohibition for conducting political training to the Maoist army personnel inside or outside the cantonments.
The Special Committee overseeing the Maoist combatants on Thursday (yesterday) endorsed the directive related to the supervision, command and control, and code of conduct to be enforced on the Maoist army personnel living at the UN monitored cantonments.
The approval of the document marks a “significant step” for bringing the former rebel soldiers still living under the chain of command of the Maoist party under the government. The six-party Special Committee has also agreed to institute a 12-member secretariat body to control the combatants and their cantonments.
“With today’s decision, the combatants have formally come under the control of the government,” said Nepali Congress member in the Special Committee Ram Sharan Mahat. “They would be practically functioning under the government’s instruction after the special committee secretariat works on full fledged.”
Maoist representative in the committee Barsha Man Pun said the combatants have “in principle” come under the government after Thursday’s decision. “After making necessary arrangements, formal programmes will be organised inside the cantonments to announce that they are under the special committee,” said Pun. “The appropriate date of announcement would be fixed on the basis of political consensus.” Continue reading
Observations part of the UN Secretary-General’s Report presented at the Security Council
28. Nepal’s peace process remains stalled, with few signs of a consensual way forward. The major parties are preoccupied by profound internal fissures and the question of power-sharing. While the extension of the Constituent Assembly by one year averted a grave political vacuum, over three months have passed without notable headway in the peace process.
29. UNMIN has continued to pursue the request of the Security Council to work with the parties to make arrangements for its departure. Interlocutors from all major parties have underlined, however, that they see no alternative to UNMIN monitoring at present. To help speed the creation of conditions that would enable the Mission to conclude its tasks, UNMIN has consistently and assiduously urged the parties to agree on measures that could be taken in the short term, and has made proposals to that end, ranging from steps to improve monitoring arrangements to strengthening preparedness for integration and rehabilitation. A non-paper prepared by UNMIN to stimulate discussion was leaked to the press, and its purpose misconstrued, leading to strong criticism of UNMIN for having exceeded its mandate, including, regrettably, from the highest levels of government.
30. Despite the sustained efforts of the United Nations Mission in Nepal, little progress has been made towards the conditions for its departure, as the continuing political stalemate has precluded the necessary cooperation among the parties. Six extensions of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Nepal have taken place on the unfulfilled expectation, and the commitment of the Government, that the remaining key tasks of the peace process would be brought to a close. Those commitments have become unrealistic in the absence of a consensual approach. Following the resignation of the Prime Minister, Madhav Kumar Nepal, at the end of June, I encouraged the parties to intensify efforts towards the formation of a consensus government, and at the time of writing this remains my hope. Continue reading