Nepal wants UN peacekeeping mission to end

Nepal wants UN peacekeeping mission to end Kathmandu  - Nepalese prime minister has hinted that the term of United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) may not be extended beyond July, newspaper reports said Sunday.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal told visiting British Under Secretary of State for Defence Kevan Jones that Nepal intended to complete the reintegration of the Maoist combatants by July, and that UNMIN would no longer be needed, the Kathmandu Post newspaper reported.

"We have set a time table to complete the integration before the expiry of the UNMIN's current mandate on 23 July", the newspaper quoted the prime minister's foreign affairs advisor Hira Bahadur Thapa as saying in relations to Jones' query on the future of UNMIN.

Dahal said the government's special committee for supervision, integration and rehabilitation of the combatants is determined to complete its job by mid-July.

"If things work as planned, we will be in a situation to discharge UNMIN by that time," the newspaper quoted Thapa saying.

UNMIN came to Nepal in January 2007 on a one-year term after the Nepalese government signed peace with Maoist rebels to end the decade-long insurgency in the Himalayan nation.

The mission has been extended three times on a 6-month basis. Also up for renewal is the tenure of United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights - Nepal, which expires in June.

The office was established in 2005 during the King Gyanendra's absolute rule, during the height of the conflict.

Nearly 20,000 of the original 32,000 Maoist combatants passed two phases of verification process by UNMIN in 2007.

The former combatants who passed the verification process now qualify for integration into the country's armed forces. However, differences between political parties have stalled the integration process. (dpa)