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Nepalese deal can translate into ‘long-term peace,’ says UN envoy

Nepalese deal can translate into ‘long-term peace,’ says UN envoy

Ian Martin
The United Nations envoy to Nepal welcomed today’s signing of a comprehensive peace agreement between the Himalayan country’s multi-party Government and the Maoists, saying the pact “promises to convert the ceasefire into long-term peace.”

Ian Martin, the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative in Nepal for Support to the Peace Process, attended a signing ceremony in the capital, Kathmandu, involving the Seven-Party Alliance and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists).

The ceremony follows a deal struck on 8 November to formally end 10 years of civil war that had killed about 15,000 people and forced more than 100,000 others to flee their homes.

Calling the agreement “entirely a Nepali achievement,” Mr. Martin reiterated the pledge by Secretary-General Kofi Annan earlier this month that the UN will respond promptly to requests for help in implementing the peace pact.

He said in a statement that his office has reached agreement with the Government and the Maoists on the location of seven divisional cantonment sites for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Maoists’ armed wing.

“I hope that we will quickly be able to reach tripartite agreement on the full modalities for the management of arms and armies, clarifying essential details regarding confinement to cantonments and restriction to barracks, weapons storage, permitted and prohibited activities, and monitoring arrangements,” Mr. Martin said.

He added that “the UN will then be able to move forward with its planning to deploy monitors and other personnel,” noting that the world body has also been asked to help with human rights monitoring and electoral assistance.