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Nepal: Annan pledges quick assistance following peace accord with Maoist rebels

Nepal: Annan pledges quick assistance following peace accord with Maoist rebels

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Secretary-General Kofi Annan today pledged to ensure that United Nations assistance arrives as soon as possible to build on a peace accord signed between the Nepalese Government and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) to end a 10-year civil war that has killed about 15,000 people and uprooted more than 100,000 others.

“This agreement places great trust and responsibility on the United Nations as it asks that we assist Nepal in various aspects of the peace process, including as an immediate step the monitoring of arms and armed personnel and providing electoral assistance,” Mr. Annan said in a statement issued by his spokesman.

“Through ending the armed conflict, the people of Nepal now have the opportunity to build lasting peace in an inclusive democracy,” he stressed.

Through his Personal Representative in Nepal, Ian Martin, Mr. Annan said he was working closely with the parties to ensure that UN assistance “can arrive as promptly as possible.”

Mr. Martin attended the signing ceremony in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, yesterday, calling the agreement “entirely a Nepali achievement.” He said his office had reached agreement with both sides on the location of seven divisional cantonment sites for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Maoists’ armed wing.