Road ahead full of challenges: Martin

Kathmandu, May 27:

United Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) chief Ian Martin today said there were a lot of challenges to Nepal’s peace process and the extension of UNMIN’s tenure would depend on the decision of the country’s political parties and the government.

Addressing an interaction here, Martin said the UN would extend full cooperation to Nepal’s peace process.

Martin clarified that the surveillance of stored arms at the cantonment, and not monitoring the activities of nearly 20,000 Maoist army personnel, was the mandate of the UNMIN. “It is not possible for the UNMIN to monitor the conduct of 20,000 Maoist army,” he said when asked why the UN body was not able to detect signs of atrocities and stop the killing of Ramhari Shrestha at Shaktikhor cantonment.

When asked if the UNMIN personnel were aware that a heinous crime was going on in the cantonment, Martin said, “No! This is an outrageous suggestion. Do not confuse surveillance with the monitoring of cantonment.” Martin also clarified that the Maoists and the Nepal Army were solely responsible for the monitoring of their respective cantonments.

He said the Maoists should fulfil their duty by bringing Shrestha’s killers to book, adding that no culprit of such criminal act was brought to justice in last three years. He said Madhesi Janadhikar Forum should help bring the culprits of Gaur killing to justice and so should the NC (Dang killing) and Nepal Army (Maina Sunuwar’s murder).

“I urge all parties to help book those who were responsible for the killings during the people’s movement and the Tarai movement,” Martin said.

He said the newly formed Constituent Assembly had a lot of challenges as the political parties had widely different views on the structure of the government, process of forming the new government and the structure of federalism.

“There still are two armies and the peace process has unfinished business of combatants, issue of YCL, rehabilitation of displaced persons and justice to conflict victims,” Martin said adding that there was a danger of continued street protests if the CA did not manage all the issues satisfactorily.