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Maoists Stage Protest in Nepal

New York, Nov 3 2009 11:10AM

The United Nations today called on Nepal's Government and other parties in the Asian country to ensure that the human rights of all people are protected and respected as protests organized by the former Maoist rebels are held throughout the State.


"I urge the Government of Nepal, the Maoist leadership and all other political actors to exercise restraint in response to nationwide agitation," said Jyoti Sanghera, Deputy Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (http://nepal.ohchr.org/en/index.html).


"Organizers of the protests should ensure that protesters act peacefully and within the law," Ms. Sanghera said, referring to demonstrations that began yesterday.


The Office called on the leadership of the United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) to make certain that their cadres refrain from violence and maintain the rule of law

, underscoring that emergency services, humanitarian agencies and human rights monitors must be given free passage at all times.


In a press release, the Office also called on the Government to uphold its international obligations and ensure that security forces act with restraint and respect the rights of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.


In a new (http://www.unmin.org.np/downloads/keydocs/SG%20Report%20Oct%2009.pdf) report, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that the lack of implementation of key commitments in Nepal's peace process is cause for serious concern, with persistent mistrust among the parties undercutting their capacities for flexible negotiation.


The parties' "absorption in day-to-day politics and internal party issues" are also impeding talks, but recently the three major parties have created an informal task force and started discussing contentious issues pertaining to the peace process and constitution, Mr. Ban said.


A decade-long civil war, claiming

some 13,000 lives, ended in 2006 with the signing of a peace accord between the Government and Maoists. After conducting Constituent Assembly elections in May 2008, the nation abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and declared itself a republic.


"While consultations at all levels continue in an ad hoc manner, it remains my view that a more formal mechanism in support of such interactions among senior leaders would benefit the peace process," the Secretary-General noted.


ENDS

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