US Diplomatic Cable: Nepal Army Chiefs Discuss Role of the Army and Countering the Insurgency

Created: 2002-03-11 13:23

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 KATHMANDU 000510

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SA/INS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/10/2012
TAGS: MCAP NP PGOV MASS
SUBJECT: NEPAL ARMY CHIEFS DISCUSS ROLE OF THE ARMY AND
COUNTERING THE INSURGENCY

REF: KATHMANDU 379

Classified By: A/DCM HOZA. REASON: 1.5 (B, D).

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SUMMARY:
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¶1. (C) RNA Chief General Rana and his deputy, Lt. General
Thapa, went out of their way to underline their support for
democracy at a February 28 dinner with emboffs. Rana stated
unequivocally that a coup by the RNA was “out of the
question.” According to Rana, the RNA’s role is to quell
the Maoist insurgencuy, to restore public confidence in the
GON’s ability to provide security to its people, and to give
the GON an opportunity to address widespread poverty and
promote development. His deputy, Lt. General Thapa, was
surprisingly optimistic in the wake of the debacle at
Mangalsen (Reftel A). Thapa stated that the transition from
a “ceremonial and peacekeeping” military to a
counter-insurgency force would take time and that hard
lessons would be learned. He noted that the RNA had enjoyed
several significant successes in the immediate aftermath of
the Mangalsen attack, particularly through the use of
helicopters. Thapa stated that the RNA believes there is a
growing split between the political and military leadership
of the Maoists, and that the symptoms of that split include
greater violence and intimidation of civilians. While
optimistic, Thapa made it clear that significant assistance
from “Nepal’s friends” would be necessary. Continue reading US Diplomatic Cable: Nepal Army Chiefs Discuss Role of the Army and Countering the Insurgency

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Nepal Army Senior Officers Corrupt: Indian Ambassador to American Officials

In a meeting with American officials on 11 March, 2006 in Kathmandu the then Indian Ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankar Mukherjee had asserted that corruption in the then Royal Nepal Army (now Nepal Army) was high and the senior commanders were “content to acquire arms on the black or gray market” because that was profitable arrangement for them than the government to government deal. “Senior officers were enriching themselves with funds set aside for procurement,” Mukherjee told the US officials. “They had told the Chinese to up their invoices for small arms by 30 percent.” The Indian ambassador said that the situation in the RNA was bad in view of poor leadership, poor training and low morale. Even foreign countries provided up to ten times more ammunition than provided previously, the army would not be able to defeat the insurgency.  Mukherjee claimed that the corruption factor explained why the RNA leadership had not been overly concerned about India, the UK and the US cutting off arms shipments.

[Then Army Chief Pyar Jung Thapa had acknowledged an acute shortage of ammunition during his meeting with the US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, Donald Camp, in March 2006.]
– Phanindra Dahal

Here’s the full text of the US diplomatic cable: Continue reading Nepal Army Senior Officers Corrupt: Indian Ambassador to American Officials