Nepal - Forlænget våbenhvile styrker håbet om fred i Nepal
NEPAL: Maoists ceasefire extension welcomed
IRINnews.org, 2. december 2005
Maoisterne har forlænget våbenhvilen med yderligere en måned, og maoisternes leder har udtrykt forhåbninger om at maoisterne kan nå til en afklaring med Nepals øvrige politiske partier og dermed udarbejde et fundament for en løsning af Nepals politiske krise. Udviklingsorganisationer og menneskerettighedsorganisationer har allerede kunnet iagttage en positiv effekt på udviklingen og tilstanden i landområderne. Der har været færre krænkelser af menneskerettighederne og flere udviklingsaktiviteter er genoptaget. Nu afventes først og fremmest den sidste og måske mest afgørende aktørs reaktioner - Kong Gyanendra, der er kommet under stærkt pres, og hans regering holder sig fortsat uden for forhandlingerne.
“This ceasefire allowed our party and major political parties to reach a far-reaching understanding to pave the way towards resolving the current political crisis in the country,” the Maoists’ top leader, Prachanda, said in press statement on Friday.
The announcement coincided with the return home of King Gyanendra after three weeks away on an African and Asian tour.
Human rights observers and aid workers have said that during the ceasefire period there had been a significant drop in human rights violations at the hands of the Maoists. According to Nepal’s watchdog National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the number of conflict-related deaths has lessened in the Himalayan kingdom since the rebels halted their military offensive three months ago.
“This is a very positive move by the Maoists and it fosters understanding between the Maoists and the seven main parties,” said Madhab Nepal, leader of United Marxist Leninist (UML), the second largest party in the country. The rebels have formed an alliance with the country’s main parties in a bid to oust the king, who assumed direct rule on 1 February, 2005.
The seven main political parties led by Nepali Congress and UML reached an understanding in late November to forge an alliance against the king and restore democracy to the country, which has not had parliamentary elections for nearly five years.
The ceasefire, which has not been reciprocated by Nepal’s security forces, has led to other benefits in the impoverished country.
“Since the ceasefire, there has been a lot of improvement in business, the economy and education sectors,” said Shibesh Regmi, country director of Action Aid Nepal, which focuses on poverty alleviation and other humanitarian issues. He added that aid workers were able to access even those villages which were out of bounds during the nine-year conflict.
The United Nations has called on the government to reciprocate and declare its own ceasefire, to reduce the chance of a resumption of full-scale armed conflict.
“[UN] Secretary-General Kofi Annan has urged the declaration of a reciprocal ceasefire by the government. I add my voice to this call, as I am seriously concerned about the very real possibility that full-scale armed conflict could resume,” read a statement by Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
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