15 Jan '11, 3am

Nepal at crossroads as UN ends peace mission

KATHMANDU : A UN mission set up four years ago to oversee Nepal's post-war transition will close on Saturday, removing a crucial buffer between two armed factions deadlocked in a fragile peace process. The UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) was established in 2007 with a one-year mandate to supervise peace after a decade-long conflict between Maoist insurgents and state forces in which at least 16,000 people died. But delays in implementing key elements of a 2006 peace agreement, including the integration of 19,000 former Maoist soldiers into the state security forces, meant its mandate had to be repeatedly extended. Last September, the UN Security Council voted to close UNMIN after a final four-month extension, citing a lack of progress and saying the mission had been unfairly drawn into political battles between the parties. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said last month the ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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