Senior UN official optimistic about Nepal peace process

A senior United Nations official said Sunday he was optimistic that a peace deal between Nepal's former rebel Maoists and the government will hold ahead of polls planned in November.

Senior UN official optimistic about Nepal peace process
A senior United Nations official said Sunday he was optimistic that a peace deal between Nepal's former rebel Maoists and the government will hold ahead of polls planned in November.

"We feel very strongly that the process in Nepal is a very positive one and in talking with various groups I am even more optimistic than I was when I came," B. Lynn Pascoe, UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs, told reporters at the end of a 24-hour visit.

Nepal's former rebel Maoists ended a decade-long guerrilla war late last year by signing a peace deal with the government. Since then, they have been given seats in parliament as well as ministerial portfolios.

During his visit, Pascoe met elderly Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala as well as Maoist leader Prachanda, a nom de guerre that means "the fierce one."

As part of last November's peace deal the UN has been invited to monitor camps containing former Maoist soldiers and assist in elections planned for November 20.

The polls will elect representatives who will rewrite Nepal's constitution and decide the political future of the country.

"It is critically important to the people of Nepal ... that the election be open and fair and totally transparent, and the United Nations wants to do everything we can to help," Pascoe said.

The rebels launched their "people's war" in 1996 with the aim of toppling the monarchy and setting up a one-party communist state in a conflict that killed more than 13,000 people.

AFP
Last Mod: 19 Ağustos 2007, 17:20
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