UNMIN brushes aside recount of combatants

KATHMANDU: At a time when some political parties are demanding for the recount of UCPN-Maoist combatants in the cantonments, the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) today clarified that it does not supervise and control the Nepali Army or Maoist Army.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has frequently been saying that many Maoist combatants have left the cantonments and a recount is necessary to ascertain the actual number of such combatants. Political parties have also been requesting the UNMIN to provide the updated figure of Maoist combatants. Despite this, the UNMIN has said citing the Agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA) that the responsibility for the management of the NA and Maoist army lies with their respective chain of command.

"We have not been requested to manage directly any army personal, cantonments or barracks," the UNMIN said.

In October 2009, the UNMIN had formally requested the NA and Maoist army to provide updated figures of their strength, through the Joint Monitoring coordination Committee. However, the Nepali Army and the Maoist army have yet to furnish UNMIN with the same.

The Secretary-General in his report on 27 January 2010 to the Security Council said, "Neither the Nepal Army nor the Maoist army have carried out the recommendations proposed to them, as indicated in my previous report to the Security Council, to confirm the number of their respective personnel and increase their cooperation with UNMIN on the notification of troop movements."