-  Thursday 22 October 2020

Nepal peace threatened by past rights abuses: UN

 -  AFP

Kathmandu, Feb 04 2008 - Nepal's fragile peace process could be at risk if serious human rights abuses committed during a decade-long civil war are not addressed, a senior United Nations human rights official said.

"Impunity remains unchecked in Nepal and not one perpetrator of past or ongoing human rights violations has been convicted as a result of a criminal investigation," said UN deputy high commissioner for human rights Kyung-wha Kang on Sunday.

A peace deal between Maoist rebels and mainstream political parties in late 2006 ended a decade-long war that killed at least 13,000 people and brought the Maoists into government.

During the war, both the Maoists and security forces committed grave human rights abuses including abduction, torture and murder, rights groups have said.

"The consolidation of the peace process will continue to be at risk without political will on the part of the authorities to end this culture of impunity," Kang told journalists in Kathmandu at the end of her five-day visit.

During her visit to Nepal, the UN official met ministers involved in the country's peace process and visited the troubled southern plains region known as the Terai.

Since the peace pact was signed, at least 200 people have been killed in the Terai in ethnic and communal unrest that has cast a shadow over the deal and is threatening crucial polls delayed and now planned for April.

"These acts of violence only serve the interests of those seeking to disrupt the peace process and will make more difficult the holding of free and fair elections," Kang said.

The election is a key part of the 2006 peace deal and will most likely see Nepal get rid of the 239-year-old monarchy as well as elect those who will write a new constitution.

Source : AFP

Other articles by reporter AFP

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