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Security Council Extends Mission in Nepal


The United Nations Security Council has extended its mission in Nepal to help fold former Maoist rebels into the army.

The Security Council agreed Wednesday to continue monitoring Nepal's peace process for another six months, until January 23. But it also supported U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon's view that the mission should not be extended any further.

The Nepalese government asked the U.N. to help integrate tens of thousands of former Maoist rebels into the army after signing a peace deal with the Maoists in 2006.

The accord also led to the creation of a Constituent Assembly that abolished the centuries-old monarchy in May.

The new republic swore in 61-year-old former health minister Ram Baran Yadav as its first president Wednesday.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala formally submitted his resignation after the president's inauguration.

The new president is a trained physician from southern Nepal's ethnic Madheshi community. He has pledged to use his ceremonial position to unite the country.

Mr. Yadav, a member of the Nepali Congress party, won the presidency Monday by defeating a candidate backed by the Maoists.

Maoist leaders say their loss shows they do not have the support to lead a coalition government. They say the party will instead continue to act as the opposition.

The former communist rebels hold the most seats in the Constituent Assembly, but they do not have a majority.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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