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UN starts registering Nepalese army weapons under latest phase of peace deal

UN starts registering Nepalese army weapons under latest phase of peace deal

UNMIN registers Nepal Army weapons
The United Nations Political Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) has begun registering and storing Nepal Army weapons as part of the world body’s assistance to the peace deal signed between the Government and the Maoists last year that ended over a decade of deadly civil war in the Himalayan country.

Under the Agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA), the Nepal Army agreed to register and safely store under UNMIN monitoring an equivalent number of weapons to those stored by the Maoist army.

“I am very pleased with the weapons registration process today, which has gone smoothly,” said General Jan Erik Wilhelmsen, the UNMIN official in charge of the monitoring of arms and armies. “The Nepal Army has provided full cooperation in this registration and weapons storage process, and I am confident that we will complete the process this week.”

The process began yesterday when the Nepal Army presented around 850 weapons for registration and storage by UN teams at the Chhauni Barracks in the capital Kathmandu.

Fourteen UN registration teams, supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), registered each weapon individually, attaching a barcode before storing it in one of 14 large containers. UNMIN monitors are present throughout the registration process, and will maintain a 24-hour presence at the barracks. Surveillance cameras have been installed at the site to ensure 24-hour electronic monitoring, the same arrangements that have been put in place for the Maoist weapons.

The number of weapons stored by the Maoist Army is 2855; in addition it maintains 524 weapons for cantonment perimeter security (30 at each divisional site, and 14 to 15 at each satellite site) and continues to hold 96 weapons pending an agreement on arrangements for leadership security.

Registration and storage of the Nepal Army weapons represents the final step of the first phase of registration of arms and combatants. The second phase will be the verification of Maoist combatants, and this will commence shortly.

The Security Council established UNMIN in January to assist with the follow-up to the Nepalese peace deal and also to support this year’s planned elections in the impoverished country where over 10 years of civil war killed around 15,000 people and displaced more than 100,000 others.