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Increased violence could derail peace process in Nepal, UN cautions

Increased violence could derail peace process in Nepal, UN cautions

Richard Bennett of the human rights office (OHCHR)  in Nepal  (file Photo)
The United Nations human rights office in Nepal today expressed its concern that increased violence by political parties and affiliated groups, as well as subsequent retaliation threats, could jeopardize the peace process in the South Asian nation.

“I appeal to all leaders to ensure that their members refrain from violence and threatening speech, and respect the commitments made in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including to respect human rights,” said Richard Bennett, Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal).

That 2006 pact ended the conflict between forces loyal to the former King of Nepal and Maoists in 2006.

In a press release, OHCHR-Nepal called on the leaders of political parties and groups allied to them to “ensure that their cadres respect the rights of other political parties to peacefully carry out their lawful activities.”

It added that should incidents occur, all groups should press for respecting the rule of law, including cooperating with the Nepal Police to ensure that investigations are carried out promptly and that those responsible are brought to justice, instead of issuing threats or retaliating.

Yesterday, the Office released its “Handbook for Civil Society” which seeks to help people in Nepal understand, access and use national and international human rights mechanisms.

Mr. Bennett said at the publication’s launch yesterday in the capital, Kathmandu, that OHCHR-Nepal’s mandate has been extended for three months, during which the Office will continue its monitoring, advocacy and intervention with authorities.