The United Nations received separate requests today from the Government of Nepal and the country’s Maoists calling for wide-ranging UN assistance, including ceasefire and human rights monitoring, in a peace process that aims to end 10 years of conflict which has killed 15,000 people in the Himalayan kingdom.
Staffan de Mistura, who led a week-long assessment mission to Nepal that returned last Thursday, said the requests were in the form of identical letters, one from the Prime Minister and the other from the Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M).
“Just today we got two letters… both have agreed on a five-point platform requesting the UN to get involved in the electoral process, in the arms management – which means cantonment both of the combatants and of the army, in the monitoring of the ceasefire and human rights,” he told reporters in New York.
“The good news is everybody wants the UN involved, everybody wants the UN in assisting the peace process which is potentially fragile and should not be allowed to be kept fragile,” he said, adding that the mission’s report would be presented to the Secretary-General today and it would then be up to him to decide the next step.
Mr. de Mistura also highlighted that the Maoists had recently agreed to extend their ceasefire and said he was “strongly encouraged” by today’s requests, particularly the fact that both sides had asked the UN how best to proceed on the “most delicate aspect” which is arms management.