< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Activists Cite Flaws In Nepal's Peace Deal

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Activists Cite Flaws In Nepal's Peace Deal



From the Washington Post:

Human rights activists on Wednesday welcomed an agreement designed to end a 10-year war between the government of Nepal and Maoist rebels but said it failed to ensure that perpetrators of abuses underlying the conflict would pay for their crimes.

Mandira Sharma, a leading human rights advocate from Nepal, said the country was "moving in the right direction" by consolidating a cease-fire agreement with the new accord and committing to dialogue. But from a human rights perspective, she said, the agreement "is weak."

"It mentions a truth commission but does not give a time frame," said Sharma, who is currently touring the United States. "The approach and mind-set is to move forward. The government thinks if we start delving into all the extrajudicial killings and disappearances, that will hamper the peace process."

Nepal's civil war has resulted in more than 13,000 deaths. Peace negotiations began seven months ago after an uprising by civil society groups, which ended King Gyanendra's autocratic rule.

The king's Royal Nepalese Army is accused of killing noncombatants, torturing prisoners and illegally detaining more than 1,200 people, according to Human Rights Watch. The Maoists, in turn, have publicly executed people they deemed enemies, tortured individuals suspected of treason and forcibly recruited thousands of child soldiers.


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