Nepal, UN's Martin Balances Maoists and Snakes in the Camps, UNDP Makes Rebels
Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
UNITED NATIONS, July
26 -- "This is not a matter for political compromise or horse-trading," Ian
Martin, the UN's envoy to Nepal, told Inner City Press on Thursday. He was
referring to the Maoists' objections to the disqualification of a "substantial"
percentage of those they sought to register as combatants.
than accept documents which Martin called "unreliable," the process includes an
interview to show compliance with two agreed tests: that the person was born
after May 25, 1988, and was not recruited after May 25, 2006.
been reported that of the 3200 applicants in the first cantonment site at Ilan,
1300 were disqualified. Inner City Press asked Ian Martin if these figures are
"in the ballpark." Martin said the UN has agreed not to make the number public
until the conversations with the Maoist leadership on the issue are finished,
since those "might have some minor impact on the figures." Video
Minute 11:07 to 18.
UN's mission in Nepal, Martin is walking a fine line, in ways not done by many
other UN missions. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, UN envoy
William Lacy Swing has often been called viceroy, even as indiscipline continues
to haunt MONUC. In Cote d'Ivoire, both UN envoys ran afoul of president Laurent
Gbagbo, and now the envoy post has been left empty for months.
empty -- of snakes -- are the Maoist cantonment sites.
Inner City Press has previous asked about
this "snakes in the camps" issue,
and Martin said that while it is a responsibility of the government of Nepal,
the UN would be involved, in the run-up (then) to the monsoon season. Now that
season has arrived, making travel by road and even helicopter difficult. Martin
said that, unlike combatants, he can't give a count of the snakes in the camps,
or any assurance that they will be eliminated. There are, however, more
asked for his view on if the Maoist youth group should, as they've requested, be
made part of the security force for the November 22 election, Mr. Martin said
that there is a need for temporary police. "It is important that the political
parties agree over the arrangements." Mr. Martin's answers on Thursday were as
diplomatic as always.
production the timeless way in Nepal (UNDP buffoonery not shown)
Development Program, on the other hand, caused some disruption to the peace
process by circulating -- to a Maoist commander, no less -- a report about
disarmament in Sudan. There's only one problem: the Maoists in Nepal have not
agreed to disarm, only to "weapons separation and monitoring." Ian Martin on
Thursday said that the Maoists are "allergic" to the word disarmament, and that
"a UNDP official" passed the disarmament survey to a Maoist commander.
result of UNDP's blithe spreading of inapposite "best practices" was a protest
by Maoist commander Prachanda that the UN is trying to weaken the Maoists in
advance of the
elections now scheduled for November 22.
has UNDP had to say about its foul-up? We don't know, as UNDP does not answer
any questions. The international community's tax money at work...
* * *
piece by this correspondent about the ongoing National Reconciliation Congress
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