UN in Nepal concerned at reports that Maoists retain arms fighters outside

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Ian Martin, the head of UNMIN, met the Maoist leadership on Tuesday to discuss these reports, and was told they were incorrect. UNMIN is seeking further clarification from the Maoists, the Mission said in a press statement, adding that it calls on the group to fulfil its commitment to report all unregistered arms.UNMIN and the Joint Monitoring Coordinating Committee (JMCC) will investigate any reports of unregistered Maoist Army weapons outside these agreed cantonment sites, and treat them as a “violation of existing agreements and… illegal.”The Mission stressed it was essential that all unlicensed firearms in the community, whether held by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) or other groups and individuals, be handed over to police control ahead of the planned June elections.Last week UNMIN made public the conclusions of a JMCC report on the first phase of the world body’s registration of Maoist arms and fighters, while Mr. Martin said it was essential to reach an agreement regarding security for the group’s leaders.The report by the JMCC, made up of representatives from the UN, the Maoist Army and the Nepal Army, concluded that nearly 3,500 weapons were registered as well as more than 31,000 Maoist combatants during this first phase of the process.According to the report’s conclusion, the Nepal Army is to store arms in equal numbers to that of the Maoist Army, and discussions on this are ongoing within the JMCC.The Security Council established UNMIN in January to assist with the follow-up to the peace deal and also to support this year’s planned elections in the impoverished Himalayan country where 10 years of civil war killed around 15,000 people and displaced over 100,000 others. 14 March 2007The United Nations Political Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) has expressed concern over media reports quoting the chairman of the country’s Maoists as saying the group retains weapons and combatants outside specified cantonment sites, actions that would breach agreements signed under last year’s historic peace deal that ended a decade of civil war in the country. read more

Belgians seeking 2 new suspects in Paris attacks probe who used false

by Lorne Cook And John-Thor Dahlburg, The Associated Press Posted Dec 3, 2015 4:57 am MDT Last Updated Dec 4, 2015 at 11:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Audrey Bily, right, and Romain Debray, managers of La Bonne Biere, speak to the media in front of their cafe in Paris during its reopening Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. The cafe where five people were killed by a squad of Islamic extremist gunmen on Nov. 13, terrorizing central Paris reopened for business Friday. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon) Belgians seeking 2 new suspects in Paris attacks probe who used false IDs around Europe BRUSSELS – Belgian and French authorities were hunting two new suspects Friday in the Paris attacks who they say used fake identity cards around Europe and sent money to a relative of the man who orchestrated the attacks the day before the ringleader died in a shootout with French police.The two men, carrying bogus ID in the names of Samir Bouzid and Soufiane Kayal, had been travelling in a Mercedes with another Paris attacks fugitive, Salah Abdeslam, when the car was checked Sept. 9 at the Hungarian-Austrian border, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s office said in a statement Friday.The same Kayal ID was used to rent a house in the Belgian town of Auvelais that authorities have searched as a possible site for making the suicide bombs used in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, the prosecutor’s office said.The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for those gun-and-bomb attacks that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds in Paris.Belgian authorities said about 6 p.m. on Nov. 17, four days after the Paris attacks, the false identity card in the name of Bouzid was used at a Western Union office in the Brussels area to send a 750-euro ($817) money order to Hasna Ait Boulhacen, cousin of the purported attack ringleader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.Both Boulhacen and Abaaoud died a day later when French police stormed their hideout in a Paris suburb.The two new suspects “are being actively sought by Belgian and French police services,” the prosecutor’s office said.Spurred into action by the Paris attacks, the interior ministers of the European Union moved Friday to grant law-enforcement agencies access to information gathered by airlines — data like passengers’ names, travel dates, itinerary, credit cards and contact details.The sharing of such data is meant to allow better scrutiny of known or suspected extremists.Under the passenger data deal, details would be collected from European carrier flights entering or leaving the EU, as well as from flights between member countries. Charter flights will be included, and all the information will be kept on file for six months.Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider, who chaired the meeting in Brussels, expressed his “pride that after so many years of negotiations, we have now been able to conclude an agreement.”The passenger record agreement proposal was first made in 2007, but it languished in the European Parliament for years as EU lawmakers struggled to strike the right balance between security concerns and privacy rights. The assembly must still endorse the deal but that is likely to happen within the next month.At least 5,000 Europeans are believed to have trained or fought in Syria and Iraq but authorities are struggling to track their movements and prove their activities. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve described the new system as “indispensable in the fight against terrorism.”The EU already has such passenger data deals with the U.S., Canada and Australia.In Paris, patrons began returning as La Bonne Biere, a corner cafe in the trendy central district targeted by the gunmen, reopened Friday.Since the attacks, the shuttered cafe has been piled high with flowers. Paule Zlotnik, a neighbouring shopkeeper, praised the decision to reopen.“It’s time they open and that we continue life as it was before,” he said.In surveillance video seen by The Associated Press, two gunmen in black calmly approached La Bonne Biere on the night of Nov. 13, firing deliberately on its outdoor tables before turning back toward a car rolling slowly behind them. read more