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UN special envoy sparks row with wild comments

Kathmandu: UN Special Envoy Karin Landgren has sparked a row in Nepal with her "wild" comments during a key briefing to the Security Council, where she warned that there was a real risk to the peace process amid fears of a new Maoists` revolt and an army-backed coup in the country.

The government has strongly objected to the analysis and comments made by UNMIN chief Landgren, describing some parts of here statement highly objectionable and based on malicious rumors and pure conjecture.

"The indication of a possible failure of the peace process, President?s rule and army backed coup are not only unthinkable but also wild comments," the government said in a statement.

Nepal`s Permanent Representative Mission at the United Nations in New York flayed the US envoy for spreading "malicious rumors and pure conjecture."

Gyan Chandra Acharya, made a statement in the Security Council on Thursday refuting the analysis of Landgren for possible failure of the peace process or the uncertainties in Nepal following the withdrawal of UNMIN, Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS), the state-run news agency reported today.

Acharya has written to the members of the Security Council expressing strong objections to the parts of the statement made by Landgren as baseless conjecture.

Days ahead of the exit of the UN agency tasked to monitor Nepal`s peace process, Landgren on January 5 warned that there was a real risk to the reconciliation effort, amid fears of a new Maoists` revolt in the country.

Landgren told the UNSC that the peace process in that nation is still incomplete and the political process "virtually deadlocked" following the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Nepal in June 2010.

In a briefing to the UNSC, the chief of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) warned that there was a real risk that failure would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"It`s not clear what will happen after UNMIN (UN Mission in Nepal) withdraws," Landgren told the powerful Security Council, which India joined as its non-permanent member after 19 years on the first day of its formal meeting.

She cited fears among many Nepalese about the prospect of a people`s revolt, which remained an explicit Maoist threat.

There were also fears of President Ram Baran Yadav stepping in, as recently called for by the Vice-President, should the parties fail to find a way forward, or of an army-backed coup.

Any such measures would sorely threaten peace and Nepal`s fragile democracy, she warned.

The mandate of UNMIN, which was established by the world body as a special political mission in 2007 to manage the arms and armed personnel of the Maoists and the Nepal Army, is set to expire on January 15, 2011. It has started the process to begin the pull out from the country.

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