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Senior UN Official Visits Nepal

Senior UN Official Visits Nepal To Probe Release Of Former Child Soldiers

New York, Dec 1 2008 5:10PM

A senior United Nations today began a six-day visit to Nepal, focusing on the release and reintegration of former child soldiers as well as the current use of children by armed groups and their participation in political violence.

In August, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy called on Nepalese authorities and Maoist forces to immediately free nearly 3,000 children who have still not been formally released from Maoist cantonments despite the end of the armed conflict in the Himalayan nation.

She said then that the comprehensive peace agreement which ended the country’s conflict between forces loyal to the former king and Maoists called for the immediate release of the children once they entered the cantonments.

She added that the recent successful staging of national elections showed that the country was “entering a hopeful phase for peace and prosperity. However, the promise of peace has not come to fruition for these children, whose lives have been adversely affected by the conflict.”

ENDS

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