UNMIN has to go, says Army
Mission wants Big Three parties’ call on term extension
KATHMANDU, AUG 21 - The Nepal Army has asked the government not to extend the term of the United Nations Mission in Nepal ( UNMIN ), which expires on Sept. 15. This is the first time the Army has taken an official position on UNMIN ’s term extension.
Chief of Army Staff Chhatra Man Singh Gurung met Peace and Reconstruction Minister Rakam Chemjong on Friday and presented the Army’s position on UNMIN . UNMIN , whose first year-long tenure started on Jan. 23, 2007, is currently serving its sixth term.
“There is no conflict in the country and the premise that there are two sides to the conflict no longer exists. Hence, UNMIN should not be imposed on the country,” Chemjong told the Post, explaining what the Army chief said in their bilateral meeting.
“ UNMIN ’s responsibilities should now be transferred to the Special Committee formed for the Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants.”
During their 20-minute talks at the Peace Ministry, Gen. Gurung quoted clause 10.5 of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), arguing that the concept of “two sides” as referred to in the CPA had ceased to exist after the formation of the Interim Parliament in January 2007.
The clause states that all responsibility for implementing the obligations referred to in the accord shall be as per the arrangements made by the Council of Ministers after the constitution of Parliament.
“The government has not taken any decision on UNMIN . We will do that after consultations with the parties,” said Chemjong.
The Maoists have opposed Gen. Gurung’s stand, saying that the Army doesn’t have the authority to take a call on what is a political issue. “It is the political parties that need to decide the fate of UNMIN . The Army’s position has no relevance,” said Maoist leader Barsha Man Pun.
Never in the best of terms, relationship between the Army and UNMIN soured mainly after the UN body questioned the recruitment announced by the Army in November 2008.
The relations between the two further soured early this month after UNMIN said NA’s decision to recruit 3,464 personnel was a breach of the CPA and Agreement on Monitoring and the Management of the Arms and Armies (AMMAA).
Early this month, UNMIN said that the proposed recruitment should be referred to the Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee (JMCC) for approval. The NA, however, shot back saying the UN body had no authority to question the decision taken by the government of Nepal.
She said the UN Security Council will look for a clear request from the government of Nepal based on consensus among the parties for the term extension beyond Sept. 15.
In March, UNMIN had floated five options for its exit, including replacement of its monitoring role through domestic or a new international monitoring body.
Posted on: 2010-08-21 09:45