Tue, 26 Mar 2013 11:26:56 GMT

Military training for peacekeeping missions begins in Nepal

From Shirish B Pradhan
Kathmandu, Mar 25 (PTI) As many as 23 countries have taken part in the ''Shanti Prayas-II'', a training exercise to enhance skills of soldiers deputed for United Nations peacekeeping missions, that kicked off in Nepal today.

The two-week training, that means ''Peace Endeavour'' in English, began in Panchkhal of Kavrepalanchwok district, 50 km from here.

It is hosted by the Nepal Army in coordination with the US Co-Sponsored multinational Peace Support Operations (PSO) and US Pacific Command (USPACOM) under the Global Operations Initiative programme.

The training will continue till April 7 and includes three events -- senior training seminar, staff training exercise and field training exercise.

Protection of human rights and establishment of the rule of law was essential for the strengthening of democracy, Chairman of Interim Election Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi said while inaugurating the training.

As many as 804 representatives from 23 countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Rwanda, USA and UK are participating.

The Nepal Army has been continuously taking part in the UN peacekeeping mission since 1958 and the country was the first to host this Multinational Platoon Training Event (MPTE) exercise in January 2000.

Hosting the training is seen as a great opportunity for Nepal, according to Army Headquarters sources.

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