New York, NY (BBN)- The Security Council on Wednesday voted to wind up the United Nations mission supporting Nepal’s peace process in January 2011 after the country’s opposing political groups reached agreement earlier this week on completing the final tasks of the stalled process by that date.

The UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) was set up in 2007, one year after the end of a bloody decade-long civil war pitting Government forces against the Maoists.

After conducting Constituent Assembly elections in May 2008, the South Asian country abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and declared itself a republic. But the peace process has slowed since then, threatened by tensions and mistrust.

On Monday, Nepal’s caretaker government and political parties reached an agreement to complete the remaining tasks of the peace process by 14 January 2011.

In response, the Security Council decided unanimously to extend UNMIN’s mandate – set to have expired on Wednesday– until January 15, after which the mission is to leave Nepal.

In his latest report to the Council on the mission, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon indicated that he is not in favour of repeated extensions of UNMIN’s mandate in an atmosphere of persistent and unfounded criticism that complicates its ability to function, a UN statement said.

BBN/SI/AD-16Sept10-11:07 am (BST)