Saturday, April 19, 2008

The United Nations and the Army Question - the view of United We Blog for a Democratic Nepal

"We extended their work period by six months earlier. A new National Army will be formed by integrating the Nepal Army and the People’s Liberation Army and the UN will not be needed as the new government can carry out the integration.” - C.P. Gajurel, CPN Maoist leader and Foreign Affairs chief of the party.

We always knew that Maoists didn’t like the UNMIN, a bureaucratic monster that was needed as a referee for Nepali peace process, for various reasons. A Maoist leader was on record criticizing the UN mission for preposterous spending on logistics like choppers, plane(s) and fleet of cars. “We have 20 thousand PLA but not a single chopper,” the leader said. “Why to UNMIN who are here to monitor the PLA need choppers and that many cars?”

That’s a very valid question. Like all UN agencies, UNMIN is the center of looting in the name of Nepali peace process.

It would be very nice if Nepal can handle the situation on its own. But the integration is a very complicated task which must be dealt with very sensitively. We might need some help from outside. The must attractive option seems to be quickening the process of integration (be that into the Nepali Army or managing the PLA into various other security apparatuses. Maoist chairman Prachanda has already hinted that PLA could be used for Industrial security force. It should also be noted that Nepali Army has been saying that politically oriented groups shouldn’t be integrated into the national army that must be apolitical.

UNMIN was set up to monitor the peace process and conduction of CA polls in August 2006 after the April movement and its term is due to expire in June. It’s also worth noting that India has never been comfortable with the presence of UNMIN in Nepal. Coincidently, Maoists are looking for India positive view to their effort of forming the next government. Are they talking about not extending UNMIN’s stay in Nepal to appease India? It’s regrettable if that is the motive behind the latest remarks of the Maoist leadership.


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