In Nepal, ‘scant progress on justice’ as govts fail to deliver on promises: HRW

New York (United States): Even 10 years after signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA), which brought an end to the civil war started by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in 1996, successive Nepali governments have failed to deliver on its central human rights promises, noted Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The HRW urged the international community, particularly the United Nations, to press the government to fulfil its pledges as victims wait in vain for information about missing family members and accountability for crimes committed during the war.

Though the CPA on November 21, 2006 brought to end the civil war, more than 13,000 lives lost to it as both the Maoists and government forces committed serious human rights abuses, including enforced disappearances, torture, extrajudicial killings, and sexual violence, HRW observed.

Asia director at Human Rights Watch Brad Adams said, “The ceasefire agreement ended armed conflict, a landmark for a country torn apart by violence and war, but the promises of accountability for abuses and the resolution of thousands of disappearances have been broken by Nepal’s main political parties, all of which have taken turns at leading the government in the last decade.”

The long civil war left a political gap that led King Gyanendra to reassert monarchical autocracy and suspend the constitution on February 1, 2005, with the support of the military. The authoritarian approach and serious human rights violations led to a people’s movement to oppose the monarchy. Nepal’s political parties formed an alliance, and together with the Maoists, made a commitment to democracy and human rights under the 2006 peace deal.

One of the key undertakings under the peace accord was to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for human rights violations committed during the war. Yet, all the political parties appear to have forgotten those promises, and the victims’ families are still waiting. (ANI)