UN resumes second phase verification of Maoist fighters in Nepal

The United Nations Mission in Nepal Tuesday resumed the second phase of its verification of the status of Maoist fighters, which had been stalled over differences with the former rebels.

UN resumes second phase verification of Maoist fighters in Nepal
The United Nations Mission in Nepal Tuesday resumed the second phase of its verification of the status of Maoist fighters, which had been stalled over differences with the former rebels.

The verification and identification process started at the Maoist Second Division camp at Dudhauli in Sindhuli district, 120 kilometres south-east of the Nepalese capital, on Tuesday morning.

The second phase of verification will identify minors under the age of 18 in Maoist fighting forces and those recruited into the rebel forces after the agreed cut-off date of May 2006.

The process hit a snag nearly two months ago over what the Maoists described as "personal and unnecessary questioning of its fighters," by the UN staff.

However, media reports in the Nepalese capital say the main reason for the Maoist objection was the disqualification of over 400 minors during the verification in eastern Nepal.

"The first day of the process will verify the status of 500 fighters based in the main cantonment," 2nd Division Maoist commander Rajesh Baidya said. "The verification will then move to cover three satellite camps in three near-by district."

About 2,800 Maoist fighters were registered in the second division during the first phase of verification carried out by UN earlier this year.

Under the agreement between the UN, the Nepalese government and the Maoists to resume the process on Monday, selected fighters who were disqualified from Ilam district in eastern Nepal will also be re-verified from Tuesday.

During the first phase of verification, the UN registered just over 30,000 Maoist combatants, a figure many believe was inflated with the recruitment that allegedly took place following a cease-fire between the Nepalese government and the Maoists.

US based Human Rights Watch has previously said as many as 9,000 of the registered Maoist fighters are minors.

DPA
Last Mod: 14 Ağustos 2007, 10:54
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