JMCC decides to resume verification of Maoists

Kathmandu, July 19:

The Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee (JMCC) today decided to resume the second stage of verification process of Maoist combatants. A meeting between officials of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and the Maoist leadership is expected to decide tomorrow the date to resume the stalled process.

“We have agreed to resume the verification process. Tomorrow’s meeting will fix the date for the same,” Nanda Kishor Pun, deputy commander of Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA), said after the JMCC meeting today.

UN officials, including United Nations secretary-general’s representative in Nepal, Ian Martin, and top Maoist leaders, including chairman Prachanda, are to hold the meeting tomorrow.

The JMCC also decided to “retrain the UNMIN staff and UNMIN sector commanders” considering the Maoist commanders’ claim that the UNMIN verification officials had asked “unplanned” questions during the verification process, said Pun.

He said that the UNMIN has agreed to review “some of the cases” of those combatants who did not qualify during the second stage of verification. Asked about the number of combatants being considered for review, the Maoist deputy commander Pun said that the meeting of top Maoist leaders and UNMIN will decide on that.

The Maoists agreed to carry on with the second stage of verification after the Minister for Peace and Reconstruction (Ram Chandra Poudel)-led Special Committee formed for Security Sector Reform (SSR) decided to discuss the integration of Maoist combatants simultaneously with the verification process. The committee had met this morning.

The second stage of verification had stalled after the completion of verification process in the Chula Chuli cantonment in Ilam. It was reported that about 900 combatants at the Chula Chuli camp were rejected because 400 plus did not meet the UN criteria while over 400 had deserted the camp and did not show up during the verification.

It may be mentioned, Ian Martin had raised concerns stating that the stalling of the verification process was “serious.” The UNMIN has not yet revealed the actual number of those rejected from the Chula Chuli camp. The next camp was in Sindhuli, where the verification could not proceed due to concerns of the Maoists.