Army chief wants exit of UN mission in Nepal

Kathmandu, Aug.21 (ANI): The Nepal Army has told the government not to extend the term of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN).

Chief of Army Staff, General Chatraman Singh Gurung, is reported to have met Peace and Reconstruction Minister Rakam Chemjong late Friday to convey the army's stand on the mission.

According to the Kathmandu Post, General Gurung said: "UNMIN's term should not be extended anymore. There is no conflict in the country, and the premise that there are two sides to the conflict no longer exists."

Chemjong said the government had yet to make a decision on the mission, whose term was due to expire September 15, and would do so after consultations with political parties were finished.

The relationship between the army and United Nations was complicated when the UN alleged the army had breached the peace process by announcing fresh recruitments.

The army chief's statement came on the heels of UNMIN chief Karin Landgren's consultations with the main political parties Friday over the extension of the mission's mandate.

In May, the mission's term was extended for a fifth time. However, there has not been any significant progress in Nepal's peace process, given ongoing political squabbling between Nepal's politicians.

The UN Security Council established the mission in January 2007 to monitor Maoist arms and the army. (ANI)

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