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United Nations ends its Nepal peace mission

Kathmandu: As Nepal remained in a political deadlock, the UN today ended its peace mission in the country removing a buffer between armed Maoist cadres and army.

The United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) established three and half years ago to monitor the country`s post conflict transition ended its peace mission as the waring political parties claimed to have reached an agreement on monitoring of the former armed Maoist cadres lodged in special camps overseen by the UN mission.

The blue flag of the UN was lowered at a function here at Nayabaneshwor signalling the end of the UN mission`s peace efforts.

The UNMIN closure makes the fate of the 19,000 Maoist combatants confined in the cantonments uncertain as no agreement has so far been made between the Maoists and the government regarding the future monitoring, and integration and rehabilitation of the combatants.

The government said a Special Committee comprising representatives from the main political parties will monitor the ex-guerrillas, which the Maoists do not agree till today.

The Maoists ended decade long insurgency, that killed 15,000 people, in 2006 after the restoration of democracy through peoples` movement.

Issuing a message at the closure of the UN Mission in Nepal, UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon expressed regret over the "insufficient progress made" made so far in the peace process and encourages the parties "to redouble their efforts to build the confidence that can bring progress on all fronts of Nepal`s peace process."

"There are, most immediately, outstanding issues in relation to the future of the arms and armies," said Karin Landgren, chief of the UNMIN in her address during the closure.

While this peace process has seen several stops and starts during the past five years, it has never been derailed, she pointed out.

There were some 270 UN staff for the monitoring of the Maoists` arms and the combatants at the time of the closure.

The UN peace mission officially came to an end at Saturday mid-night.

However, a small mission liquidation team will remain, to complete administrative withdrawal matters, according to Landgren.

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