04/21/2011, 00.00
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Kathmandu, UN calls for justice for victims of civil war

by Kalpit Parajuli
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on the government to bring Maoist army and militias leaders responsible for crimes against humanity to trial. In 10 years, the conflict claimed more than 12,800 deaths and nearly 100 thousand displaced.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - The UN Commission on Human Rights (UNHRC) is putting pressure on the government in Kathmandu to bring to justice the Armed Forces and the Maoist militias responsible for crimes against humanity committed during the civil war. The request is part of the process of reconciliation that began in 2007 under UN supervision. Yesterday, Kyung – wha Kang, Deputy Commissioner of the UNHRC on visit to Nepal, stressed the urgency of reform legislation allowing the arrest of those responsible and that meets the demands of thousands of victims of the conflict who for years have been seeking truth and justice. According to the UNHRC to date there are still 835 dissidents missing after they disappeared between 1996 and 2006.

"The process implemented by the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation - said the Kyung - is a historic opportunity to address the causes at the root of social conflicts in the country." The High Commissioner criticized the inaction and failures in recent years by the Constitutional Assembly. According to Kyung, in the drafts for legislative reform, the Assembly does not respect fundamental rights such as citizenship, subject to different rules depending on ethnic and social extraction. The UN High Commissioner also proposed that Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal extend the Commission's mandate for another two years. "Our presence in Nepal - he said - is necessary for the conclusion of the peace process."

The civil war in Nepal saw military battle and Maoist guerrillas for 10 years, who wanted to overthrow the monarchy and establishing the People's Republic of Nepal. The conflict ended with a comprehensive peace agreement between the army and Maoists signed November 21, 2006 in front of UN and international community. In 10 years the conflict claimed more than 12,800 deaths and nearly 100 thousand displaced. In this climate of anarchy, the army, which controlled the urban areas, and the Maoists, who are present in rural areas, are guilty of crimes against the civilian population, removing dissidents and all those who at the time reported the facts.

In 2007 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created, sponsored by the then Maoist government, elected in 2008, and the highest offices of state, but so far none of the executives have been brought to trial. The authorities justify the delay by the political instability that has ravaged the country in recent years.

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