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The United Nations registration and storage of Maoist armies and weapons began on Wednesday at the 3rd and 4th Divisional cantonment sites, in Chitwan and Nawalparasi respectively.The UN arms monitors are on both sites, and supervised the registration and storage procedure, says a statement, issued on Wednesday evening, Office of Ian Martin, Personal Representative of the Secretary-General in Nepal.
“Four UN registration teams conducted the process, with experts from UNDP in Afghanistan working with local Nepali registrars,” the statement says, adding, “The UN monitors were supported by the Interim Task Force recruited by the Government of Nepal, made up of former Nepali soldiers from the Indian and British and armies to allow for a 24-hour monitoring of the sites.”
“The first day of registration and storage of weapons at the 3rd and 4th Maoist cantonment sites went very well,” General Wilhelmsen, military advisor to Ian Martin’s office, says in a statement on Thursday.
The disarmament of former combatants is one of the steps being taken by the UN in support of the peace accord signed in November by the Nepalese Government and Maoist rebels who had been conducting an insurgency for a decade. More than 13,000 people are estimated to have been killed during the conflict, and thousands more have been displaced from their homes.
Last week, in a report to the Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recommended that a small UN political mission comprising unarmed military inspectors, electoral exports, and police and civil administration teams be established to monitor the peace agreement.