Author Topic: 30,852 PLA combatants, 3,428 weapons registered: UNMIN  (Read 418 times)

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30,852 PLA combatants, 3,428 weapons registered: UNMIN
« on: February 23, 2007, 10:09:38 PM »
KATHMANDU, Feb 23 - The United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) on Friday has revealed that a total of 30,852 PLA militants were registered at the seven main and 21 sub cantonments across the nation while 3,428 weapons were registered in the first phase of verification process monitored by the UNMIN.
A press release issued by the UNMIN today informed that 91 mortars (55 of which were locally-made); 61 machine guns; 2,403 rifles; 61 automatic weapons (sub-machine guns); 114 side-arms; 212 shotguns; 253 various/miscellaneous; and 233 home-made weapons were registered during the first phase of arms and armies registration

"The figure also includes 524 weapons retained for perimeter security by designated guards, in accordance with the Agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies (4.1.2), and 49 of the weapons are so far retained away from the cantonments, pending an understanding with the Government on arrangements for personal security of leaders," the release stated.

Meanwhile, the UNMIN also said that the number of weapons registered falls short of the number purported by the Maoists to have been commandeered from the security forces.

"The Nepal Army had made available to UNMIN a breakdown by types of 3,430 weapons which it states were taken from the Nepal Army, the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force," the UNMIN release said adding that the UNMIN is in the process of registering members of the Maoist army currently engaged in leadership security arrangements or undergoing medical treatment outside the cantonment sites.

Expressing concern over the recent camp desertion by the Maoist combatants, UNMIN chief Ian Martin said that it was a breach of the tripartite agreement.

The press release also said that the second phase of the arms registration process would begin by mid-March.

"Brief details of each combatant have been recorded at the first stage of registration, but have not been verified; each has been photographed and issued with an identity card with a UN bar code. Detailed information will be collected through individual interviews at the second stage of registration. The full modalities of the second stage process are under discussion in the JMCC, and it is expected to begin by mid-March," the release stated.

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