News / Asia

Envoys Express Concern About Nepal's Political Crisis

TEXT SIZE - +

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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid