[The UCPN(M) leadership is locked into the pursuit of leading a coalition or consensus government with the bourgeois parties, an elusive prospect which requires making a deal to integrate a few thousand members of the Maoist People’s Liberation Army into the army. The Nepal Army is resisting any integration of PLA soldiers as units into the army and seems to be calling the UCPN(M)’s bluff. The UCPN(M) wants the UN to stay to help cobble together a deal on the army and to share power.-ed]
Kathmandu – The Nepalese Army told the government not to extend the term of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), the first time the army has taken an official position over the political mission’s mandate, local media reported Saturday.
Army chief Chatraman Singh Gurung met Peace and Reconstruction Minister Rakam Chemjong late Friday to convey the army’s stand on the mission, which was created to support the peace process after the government and Maoist rebels signed a peace agreement in 2006, The Kathmandu Post said.
“UNMIN’s term should not be extended anymore,” Gurung said. “There is no conflict in the country, and the premise that there are two sides to the conflict no longer exists.”
Chemjong said the government had yet to make a decision on the mission, whose term was due to expire September 15, and would do so after consultations with political parties were finished.
The relationship between the army and United Nations was complicated when the UN alleged the army had breached the peace process by announcing fresh recruitments.
The army chief’s statement came on the heels of UNMIN chief Karin Landgren’s consultations with the main political parties Friday over the extension of the mission’s mandate.
In May, the mission’s term was extended for a fifth time. However, there has not been any significant progress in Nepal’s peace process, given ongoing political squabbling between Nepal’s politicians.
The mission was established by the UN Security Council in January 2007 to monitor Maoist arms and the army. The former rebels joined mainstream politics after waging a decadelong insurgency to establish a communist state in Nepal, in which more than 14,000 died. Today, more than 19,000 Maoist combatants live under UN supervision in seven camps across Nepal.