April 14th, 2007 06:44 EST
Completing registration of Nepal Army weapons
The United Nations Political Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) has completed the registration and storage of Nepal Army weapons at a barracks in the capital Kathmandu, wrapping up the first phase of a process that has already seen the registration of an equal number of weapons from former Maoist fighters.
“The first phase of registration and storage of weapons has been achieved with excellent cooperation by both the Nepal Army and the Maoist army, and is a significant contribution to the peace process in Nepal,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Nepal Ian Martin after inspecting the Chhauni Barracks site.
“It provides a sound foundation for the second phase of this process, when UNMIN will verify details of registered combatants in Maoist cantonments.”
This next phase, which was agreed last year as part of a peace deal that ended more than a decade of conflict between the Maoists and the Government, is scheduled to begin shortly, the Mission said.
After a three-day process, which ended on Thursday, UNMIN registered 2,855 Nepal Army weapons, including, rifles, machine guns, sub-machine guns, pistols and mortars, and stored them in locked containers that are under 24-hour monitoring, including by electronic surveillance.
The number of weapons registered and stored under UNMIN monitoring is the same as those from the Maoist Army, and they are of equivalent types. Both arrangements are identical as stipulated in the Agreement on the Monitoring of Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA).
The Security Council established UNMIN in January to assist with the follow-up to the Nepalese peace deal and also to support this year’s planned elections in the impoverished country, where over 10 years of civil war killed around 15,000 people and displaced more than 100,000 others.