News / Asia

Envoys Express Concern About Nepal's Political Crisis

With clashes escalating on the streets of Nepal, a number of foreign envoys are requesting the government and the Maoists reach agreement in the next few days to halt a nationwide strike.

Police fired tear gas and imposed a curfew to quell clashes in the border town, Birguj, a main entry point into Nepal from India.  Men described as Hindu vigilantes attacked Maoist protesters supporting the indefinite strike that has been running for five days.

Tension is also rising in other areas, including Kathmandu, where frustrated merchants are resisting the nationwide shutdown enforced by young Maoists armed with bamboo sticks.  

The European Union delegation here, including Britain, Denmark, Finland, France and Germany - and joined by non-EU members Norway and Switzerland - have issued a joint statement expressing concern about the political crisis. The ambassadors of those countries, who met with Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Wednesday, are urging him to negotiate an end to the deadlock with the Maoists in the next few days

Western governments form the majority of Nepal's donors.

Nepal is asking the United Nations to extend its special political mission, set to expire May 15.  It would be the sixth extension for the U.N. Mission in Nepal, known as UNMIN.

The fifth extension was meant to be last, but it now appears certain - amid the present turmoil - the country will not meet a May 28 deadline to promulgate a new constitution and move the rest of the former Maoist fighters either into the Army or back into society.

Nepalese U.N. Ambassador Gyan Chandra Acharya, speaking to the U.N. Security Council, has requested a four-month extension.  He says Nepal needs to build on the momentum on what has been achieved since the 2006 peace accord.

"It is for this reason and also as we are at an important juncture of the peace process, the government of Nepal has decided to seek the extension of UNMIN's mandate," he said.


The Maoists have a list of demands, including the resignation of the prime minister, to clear the way for a national unity government.  The previous prime minister and Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, has told VOA News he will return as prime minister.

Members of the governing coalition tell VOA the Maoists must first end the crippling strike, before Mr. Nepal will step aside.

Speaking at the United Nations Security Council session, the world body's special envoy to Nepal, Karin Landgren, noted the fragile state of the peace accord.

"With the strong encouragement of all its supporters Nepal's political parties can and must pull the peace process back from its present disarray and animosity," said Landgren.

The 250-member special U.N. mission was established in 2006 after the seven-party government alliance and the Maoists requested the world body's assistance to oversee elections and the implementation of the peace process.

Among its most important tasks:  supervising nearly 20,000 former rebels who are in seven camps and round-the-clock monitoring of the storage areas for their weapons.

The U.N. mission also monitors the Nepal Army's barracks in the capital.

The Nepali Congress Party, the second largest behind the Maoists in the parliament, objects to UNMIN continuing its oversight of the army cantonment.  But that role is expected to continue under an extension.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More