UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council has extended the mandate of the its peacekeeping force in Nepal until January 15, giving the country’s warring political parties four more months to settle their differences over government formation.
The UNSC resolution called upon “all political parties in Nepal to expedite the peace process, and to work together in a spirit of cooperation, consensus and compromise in order to continue the transition to a durable long-term solution to enable the country to move to a peaceful, democratic and more prosperous future.”
And an accord signed on Monday by Nepal’s caretaker prime minister and the leader of the opposition Maoist party pledged to complete the peace process by January 14, 2011.
The Security Council resolution extended the UNMIN mission until January 15 but stressed that the UN workers would then leave. In his latest report on Nepal, the Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon wrote that he wasn’t in favour of extending the peacekeeping force’s mandate in the country if the parties continued with their political bickering.
“I will propose alternative measures to the (Security) Council, including the possible termination of United Nations Mission in Nepal’s mandate,” Mr Ban wrote.
In 2006, the Government and the Maoists ended a decade long civil war but since then the peace process has been wracked with loopholes.
The UN peacekeeping force was set up in 2007.
Mr Ban’s status report highlighted that the peace process remains incomplete, and the parties have been unable to produce a new constitution.
Mr Karin Landgren, the head of UNMIN, described Mr Ban’s report as “discouraging picture of the state of Nepal’s peace process, and of the failure of the political parties to invest in its revival.”
The top UN official also pointed out that while “two sides” may no longer exist, two armies—the Nepal Army and the Maoist Army—continued to exist in the country.
Last week, the Nepal’s envoy to the UN, Ambassador, Mr Gyan Chandra Acharya told the Security Council that Ban’s latest report did not reflect the situation on the ground. “We would like to see the report more balanced, nuanced, and reflective of the correct assessment of the situation on the ground in its entirety,” Mr Acharya said.
“The Government of Nepal has been successively working hard to push forward peace process from the early days in order to move from the transition phase to the normal state at the earliest,” he added.
Nepali lawmakers have so far failed seven times in their bid to elect a new Prime Minister. They will again attempt to elect the next Prime Minister on September 26.