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Nepal Govt. Silent Over Hundreds of Disappearances

Nepal Government Silent Over Hundreds of Disappearances

by Mohan Nepali, Kathmandu

The Nepali Congress-led government of Nepal has not given any information about 1,500 cases of disappearances in Nepal. Most of them were disappeared by the Royal Nepal Army (now renamed as Nepal Army). Human rights organizations maintain that more than 250 of the disappearances were caused by the Maoist insurgents.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Mary Werntz, the head of the ICRC delegation expressed the possibility of a further rise in the number of disappearances. A Nepali source affiliated to the ICRC told this reporter that hundreds of cases of disappearances seem to have been unregistered. “Should they be registered and updated, the number of disappearnces in Nepal may cross 1,500,” it said. However, the ICRC statistics show 1,042 as the current documented number of disappearnces in the country. The National Human Rights Commission formed by the Nepal Government shows more than 800 disappearances, lower than the ICRC records.

The Nepal-based UNOHCHR has yet to confirm its stance as to creating a human rights pressure on the Nepal government to develop a sense of reponsibility.
The ICRC has clearly stated that the Nepal government has not fulfillled its human rights obligations of exposing the facts of disappearances and letting related people know about the truth: dead or alive.

The High-level Commission to Probe Disappeared Persons was formed by the Nepal government without consulting political parties,legal and human rights experts. Nobody in nepal believes that such a commission in which there is no representation of victims can do any better. Besides, ordinary people think that this commission is influenced by royal quarters and is believed to have been active to protect violators.
During the decade-long armed insurgency, more than 15,000 thousand people lost their lives and many of them were innocent civilians. Helicopter bombardments killed many civilians while many are believed to have been murdered in army camps. After an epoch-making April uprsing in 2006, the Maoists declared and ceasefire and entered the mainstream peace process as the majority of grassroot Nepalis across the country entirely rejected monarchy, tallying with the Maoist agenda. However, the major political parties, especially the Nepali Congress Party and the United Marxist-Leninist (UML) still contain many monarchist leaders who seem to have worked as the barriers to the declaration of republic.

Besides, rightist parties are equally active ranging from city to countryside. Thus, neither investigations nor legal actions against crimes against humanity are that easy for the poor masses of Nepal.

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