Nepal Today

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nepal, US armies cooperate

Kathmandu, 29 Aug: A 10-day joint workshop on natural disaster management has started with Nepal Army and US Army Pacific Command cooperation.
Altogether 210 participants from 24 countries are participating in the workshop in the capital, Nepal Army said.
The workshop aims to extend additional regional and international help for developing plans and preparedness for management of natural disasters.
Security, other government agencies and ministries are participating.

UNMIN playing with words to escape responsibility

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 29 Aug: UNMIN is playing with words to escape responsibility for its failed job in managing the Nepal peace process.
Its performance has been dismal and the UN agency has come under fire from government and major political parties over its presence and role in the last three years.
What’s the meaning of the words: enforcement, control and compliance?
Enforcing compliance are forms of enforcement and control without the use of force; UNMIN is also implying it also doesn’t have the mechanism to enforce the arms agreement between the government and former rebels. .
Clearly, UN is playing with words to negate charges of dereliction of duty. It’s the duty of the UN to enforce compliance as per agreement; UN has failed to enforce compliance.
After taking on a responsibility, it’s UNMIN’s responsibility to see the job is executed in whatever manner it deems fit. This hasn’t been executed. UNMIN has accepted Maoists violated the arms accord last Monday when 19 armed and uniformed Maoists trooped out of a camp in Kapilvasthu not the first time.
What did UNMIN do to prevent recurrences after the first incident several years ago?
The UNMIN has failed to ask, request or even force Maoists to comply with an agreement.
UNMIN says a ‘high degree of mutual confidence’ between contestants is required to enforce the arms agreement; the world body was invited, in the first place especially by Maoists, because such mutual confidence didn’t exist.
Now the state and its army don’t have such confidence in the Maoists.
UNMIN now says it undertook only a ‘light monitoring presence’ in 2066 when millions of dollars have already been invested on behalf of the UN mainly by rich donors especially from Scandinavia to draw Maoists into the political mainstream.
The world body and its Secretary General Kofi Annan lobbied to get into Nepal for the impossible task of disarming Maoists in a country with an open 1,700 km border with India where the rebels were sheltered.
The UN was minimizing or ignoring the challenges of the responsibilities it was undertaking in Nepal for which ordinary Nepalis are now suffering.
The only beneficiaries from the UN presence were people on its payroll and rich house owners in Nepal; many beneficiaries were Scandinavians whose countries financed the UN Nepal operation.
All weapons weren’t surrendered to the UN by Maoists then; Maoists and new armed groups are still bringing in weapons across the open border.
UNMIN will have to be permanently in Nepal, at the current stage, if peace is to prevail in the country; there are threats of a pullout after the fourth mandate expires in January 2010.
The concept that the 10-year people’s war will end with the storage of weapons with the UN was, therefore, flawed as has been proved with recent developments.
“UNMIN does not have an enforcement mandate or a control role. UNMIN arms monitors focus on monitoring, and compliance with the agreement on monitoring of the management of arms and armies (AMMAA),” a statement issued Friday said.
Government and Nepali Congress charged UNMIN for an ineffective role in curbing activities of Maoists in camps.
UNMIN issued a similar alibi when a Kathmandu business was abducted to a camp in Chitwan and murdered by Maoists in 2008.
“The arrangements for the cantonment of Maoist army personnel, confinement to barracks of the Nepal Army, and the monitoring of arms and armies were conceived as temporary measures to help create appropriate conditions for the constituent assembly elections.”
Maoists won the 10 April 2008 elections and UN has been demanding an increased and extended role in Nepal even after the historic vote.
“UNMIN arms monitors maintain a permanent presence in the main cantonment sites and the Nepal Army weapon storage site in Chhauni barracks. They monitor the management of the respective armies, facilitate dialogue and raise possible beaches of the AMMAA with the JMCC.”
There are seven cantonments and 21 satellite camps housing 19,000 plus Maoist combatants.
By implication, the UN is admitting the 21 camps are camps under UN watch only a gambit; they are as good as shelters completely under Maoist control and whose occupants are paid monthly by the so-called international community.
Did the Maoists then come out of the jungle and into UN camps after the peace accord in 2006?
‘The joint monitoring coordination committee (JMCC) chaired by UNMIN with vice-chairmanship of both the Nepal Army and the Maoist army, supervises compliance by the parties with AMMAA, resolves disputes between parties and assists in confidence-building.”
The agreement, specifies categorically UNMIN
has a direct role in ensuring compliance with the AMMAA.


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