Nepal seeks review of Gurkha recruitment deal with Britain

Britain has been enlisting Gurkhas, a tribe from Nepal’s Himalayan foothills known for their fierce combat abilities, since 1815. (AFP)
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Updated 14 December 2019

Nepal seeks review of Gurkha recruitment deal with Britain

  • Britain has been enlisting Gurkhas, a tribe from Nepal’s Himalayan foothills known for their fierce combat abilities, since 1815
  • Currently, there are about 3,000 Nepalis in the Brigade of Gurkhas who have fought in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans

KATMANDU: Nepal wants to review a military deal allowing its citizens to be enlisted in the British army, before a planned recruitment of Nepali women in the Brigade of Gurkhas for the first time in two centuries, the Himalayan country’s foreign minister said.
It is not clear how many Gurkha women Britain plans to enlist, but the first Gurkha women could begin their training in the British army in 2020, according to British media.
Britain has been enlisting Gurkhas, a tribe from Nepal’s Himalayan foothills known for their fierce combat abilities, since 1815.
An agreement between New Delhi, London and Katmandu following India’s independence from colonial rule in 1947 allowed India and Britain to share and recruit Gurkhas.
In 2007, Britain announced plans to recruit Gurkha women for its elite force, adding however that issues such as recruitment and selection standards needed to be settled.
Nepal now wants the 72-year-old tripartite deal renegotiated since that accord does not allow Katmandu to play any role in the recruitment process of Gurkhas by foreign armies, the country’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said in an interview late on Friday.
“(Some) provisions of that agreement have become irrelevant now. Therefore, we have told Britain that we should review it ... make bilateral arrangements,” said Gyawali.
“We should define the presence of the government of Nepal in the (recruitment) process.”
A new agreement should also address Gurkha grievances such as pensions and other benefits, which retired servicemen say are not at par with their British counterparts, Gyawali added.
Nepal, a natural buffer between China and India, is one of the world’s 10 poorest countries and remittances from Nepalis working abroad, including the Gurkhas, account for more than a quarter of its GDP.
Currently, there are about 3,000 Nepalis in the Brigade of Gurkhas who have fought in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.


Knifeman kills three in suspected terror attack at French church in Nice

Updated 12 min 59 sec ago

Knifeman kills three in suspected terror attack at French church in Nice

  • Two victims died at the Basilica of Notre-Dame while a third person died of injuries
  • Macron called for churches around the country to be given added security

NICE: A man wielding a knife at a church in the French city of Nice killed three people, slitting the throat of at least one, and injured several others before being apprehended by police, officials said Thursday.
French anti-terror prosecutors have opened an inquiry into what the city’s Mayor Christian Estrosi called an “Islamo-fascist attack.”
“He (the attacker) kept repeating ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Greater) even while under medication” after he was injured during his arrest, Estrosi told journalists at the scene.NIC

Video footage shows police entering the church in Nice where the attack is thought to have been carried out. (Twitter)

Two victims died at the Basilica of Notre-Dame, in the heart of the city on the Mediterranean coast, while a third person died of injuries after seeking refuge in a nearby bar, a police source told AFP.
“The situation is now under control,” police spokeswoman Florence Gavello said.
France has been on high alert for terror attacks since the January 2015 massacre at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The trial of suspected accomplices in that attack is underway in Paris. 

 

There have been unconfirmed reports that at least one of the victims was decapitated. (Twitter)

In Nice in particular, painful memories remain fresh of the jihadist attack during the Bastille Day fireworks on July 14, 2016, when a man rammed his truck into a crowded promenade, killing 86 people.
It was part of a wave of attacks on French soil, often by so-called “lone wolf” assailants, which has killed more than 250 people since 2015.

 

 

The attacker was captured by police and taken to hospital. (Twitter)

The assault prompted lawmakers in parliament to hold a minute’s silence on Thursday, before Prime Minister Jean Castex and other ministers abruptly left for an emergency meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.
Estrosi, who said Macron would soon be arriving in Nice, called for churches around the country to be given added security or to be closed as a precaution.
(With agencies)