Nepal's Maoists Protest Government Request for UN Monitors

Nepal's Maoist rebels are protesting the government's formal request to the United Nations for assistance in monitoring weapons held by guerillas and the army.

The rebels had agreed previously with the government that U.N. monitors could be invited to Nepal to supervise weapons in the run-up to elections next year.

But Maoist officials say the government did not consult them before sending a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Monday asking for support with the monitoring process.

The Maoists and government of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala have been observing a ceasefire for two months. In May, the sides agreed to work together to oversee elections for a special assembly in 2007 that will redraft Nepal's constitution