Home Kathmandu UNMIN worked to weaken national army: Ex-CoAS Gurung

UNMIN worked to weaken national army: Ex-CoAS Gurung

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Kathmandu, April 11, 2016: Retired chief of the Nepal Army (NA) Chhatra Man Singh Gurung has disclosed that the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) had been working to weaken the national army and prolong its dominance in Nepal.

Gurung also accused representatives of the UN body, that closed its mission on 15 January, 2011, of not working impartially while dealing with the issue of integrating former Maoist combatants into NA, and of reporting inaccurately to the UN Security Council with a view to extend its stay in Nepal.

Stating that NA had to repeatedly point out UNMIN’s activities that were against its mandate, Gurung said NA had tried to persuade UNMIN chief Karin Landgren not to repeat such activities.

“But Landgren did not try to understand. I thought her strategy was to continuously encourage the Maoists to continue their violence and terror and seize properties while weakening the Nepal Army by not allowing it to recruit after 2007 and controlling its trainings and procurement of arms, ammunition and other military materials,” Gurung said in his autobiography Janatako Chhoro [Son of the People], which was launched in Kathmandu on Sunday.

He has stated that the activities of Landgren, who succeeded Ian Martin as UNMIN chief, were suspicious. “I then started to study her activities minutely. She always used to oppose the Nepal Army and me and she reported to the Security Council accordingly,” Gurung has said under the subtitle ‘UNMIN in Nepal’.

According to Gurung, Landgren, in her reports to the UN Security Council, described him as a strong opponent of the UN. He then acquired a CD copy of her speech and went through it. “She was claiming that in the absence of UNMIN, there would be a void in Nepal and in such a situation the Maoists might revolt, the president might take over executive power or the army may stage a coup, etcetera etcetera. There was an intention to extend the [UNMIN’s] tenure.” it reads. He then asked Nepal’s Permanent Representative in New York Gyan Chandra Acharya to strongly refute that statement. “He did so effectively.”

The former army chief has also disclosed that top politicians and other officials were told that Nepal may loose its opportunity to serve in UN peacekeeping missions and may be deprived of high-level appointments in UN bodies.

Then prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal had enquired with him if the government’s move not to extend UNMIN’s tenure might cause the UN to reduce the number of NA peacekeepers in UN missions. He had convinced the prime minister that the decision not to extend UNMIN’s tenure should have no connection at all with the selection of peacekeeping missions.

The term of UNMIN, which was originally given a one-year tenure, was extended five times. Each time the term was extended by six months.