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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
10KATHMANDU29 2010-01-13 09:13:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

NEPAL: GON STICKS TO FOUR-MONTH UNMIN EXTENSION

Tags:   PGOV KDEM NP 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L KATHMANDU 000029 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/12/2020
TAGS: PGOV KDEM NP
SUBJECT: NEPAL: GON STICKS TO FOUR-MONTH UNMIN EXTENSION

REF: 1/12/2010 MCSHARRY-TRENKLE EMAIL

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires, a.i., John Ordway. Reasons 1.4 (b/d).



1. (C) Summary: The Government of Nepal (GON) is unlikely to
agree to a six-month mandate extension for UNMIN and may hold
firm on its recommended May 15 date, which is linked to the
deadlines for completing the integration and rehabilitation
of Maoist combatants (April 30) and the new constitution (May
28). Even though Nepali leaders know this timeline is
unrealistic, they believe accepting UNMIN's presence past May
would be seen as an admission that the parties will fail to
complete the peace process on time. End Summary.

UNMIN's Mandate Tied to Peace Process Deadlines


--------------------------

--


2. (C) During a January 12 meeting with Rajan Bhattarai,
Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister M.K. Nepal, Charge
encouraged the Government of Nepal to support a six-month
mandate extension for UNMIN, per reftel instructions. (Note:
Nepal requested a mandate extension of approximately four
months to May 15. End Note.) Charge noted that the May 15
extension is logistically complicated for the UN, that
mid-May could be a very sensitive time in Nepal's peace
process, and that the integration and rehabilitation of
Maoist combatants is unlikely to be complete within this time
period.



3. (C) Bhattarai said that under the Comprehensive Peace
Agreement (CPA) and Interim Constitution, the Constituent
Assembly must promulgate a new constitution by May 28, 2010.
According to the CPA, the integration and rehabilitation of
Maoist combatants must take place before the promulgation of
the new constitution. Bhattarai noted that the Maoists and
Government of Nepal recently agreed on an 112-day program to
complete the integration and rehabilitation process, ending
April 30. Once the integration and rehabilitation is
complete, UNMIN has no purpose. The GON's mandate extension
request tracks these internal peace process deadlines.



4. (C) Requesting a full six-month extension would
predetermine the outcome in a way that is prejudicial to the
GON's interest in rapidly concluding the peace process,
Bhattarai said. He acknowledged that completing the
integration and rehabilitation by mid-May will be difficult,
but said that government is "not allowed to talk or think
beyond May 28" when its own mandate ends. If the political
will is there, Bhattarai argued, even one month is enough
time to resolve the Maoist combatant issue.

ForMin Says GON Can Always Request Extension


--------------------------




5. (C) During a separate January 10 meeting at the Charge's
residence, DeputyPM and ForMin Sujata Koirala told Charge
that hardliners in the GON wanted an even shorter UNMIN
extension -- or no extension at all -- and that she was
"lucky" to get four months. She noted that many in the
current coalition government view UNMIN as biased in favor of
the Maoists. Koirala added that the GON could always extend
UNMIN after four months as needed.

Comment


--------------------------




6. (C) GON leaders know the May deadlines for completing
integration/rehabilitation of Maoist combatants and the
constitution drafting are unrealistic, but cannot admit so at
this sensitive time. The GON leaders likely believe they can
extend UNMIN's mandate in May for a couple months -- or more
-- perhaps not fully appreciating the UN planning and
budgeting cycles and the political issues that overcoming a
"final" extension would pose for the UNSC.
ORDWAY