Nepal

Nepal: Press statement on registration and verification of Maoist army personnel

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This statement has been released in response to concerns and controversies in the media for the past few weeks regarding UNMIN's role in the registration and verification of Maoist army personnel.

The Agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA) signed by the Government of Nepal and the CPN-M on 8 December 2006 sets out criteria for the definition of "Maoist army combatants." There are only two conditions of eligibility: joining service before 25 May 2006, and having been born before 25 May 1988.

The Government and CPN-M decided that possession of a weapon was not a criterion for eligibility. Presentation of a Maoist army identity card was required to demonstrate service.

The AMMAA also created the Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee (JMCC), chaired by UNMIN, with membership by both the Nepal Army and the Maoist army. It is the only forum that brings together the two armies to jointly supervise and discuss compliance with the Agreement.

UNMIN's role in registration and verification of Maoist army personnel

The Government and CPN-M requested UNMIN to undertake the registration and verification of Maoist army personnel. UN teams made up of a military expert from UNMIN and a reintegration expert from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) conducted registration, and staff from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) with background in children's rights later joined in the verification phase, UNMIN was not requested to verify whether the registered Maoist army personnel were eligible for integration into the security forces. This issue is to be considered by the inter-party Special Committee to supervise, integrate, and rehabilitate Maoist army, which held its first meeting on 16 January 2009.

UNMIN's task during Registration

UN teams collected personal military information and examined identity cards. This began on 17 January 2007 and the results were reported to the Joint Monitoring Coordination committee (JMCC) in February.

UNMIN's task during Verification

The UN teams conducted the verification of registered Maoist army personnel between June and December 2007. The JMCC discussed and agreed to the process and questions developed by the United Nations for the verification. UN teams verified the eligibility of the registrants through detailed individual interviews conducted in confidence. Language assistants and a military pediatrician were also present with the UN teams. The teams referred cases raising any doubts for higher-level review.

Result of the verification and briefing to political parties

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Nepal (SRSG) briefed senior political leaders on progress during the verification process, in addition to regular briefings by the Chief Arms Monitor to the JMCC. Representatives of political parties represented in the Seven-Party Alliance inspected the verification process in one cantonment.

The verification exercise found 2,973 minors (born after 25 May 1988), who were disqualified. 1,035 persons were disqualified as having been recruited after 25 May 2006. 8,640 registered individuals did not present themselves for the verification process and were thus disqualified. The number of verified Maoist army personnel was 19,602.

The SRSG gave the final report on verification to Minister of Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel of the Nepali Congress, and CPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda."

Background:

Mandate of UNMIN

In 2006, the Seven-Party Alliance Government led by the Nepali Congress, and the Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist (CPN-M), requested United Nations assistance in conducting the Constituent Assembly elections and supporting the peace process. The United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) was established by the United Nations Security Council on 23 January 2007, as a special political mission.

After the April 2008 Constituent Assembly election, UNMIN's mandate now includes these tasks:

- Monitor the management of arms and armed personnel of the Nepal Army and the Maoist army, in line with the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the Government of Nepal and the CPN-M on 21 November 2006.

- Assist the parties through a Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee (JMCC) in implementing their agreement on the management of arms and armed personnel.

Contact:

BICC Complex, New Baneshwor, GPO Box 15211, Kathmandu, Nepal, Tel: + 977-1-501-0036/37/38, Fax: +977-1-501-0040