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Nepal govt desperate to block report on Maoist conflict

Publication Date : 08-10-2012


As the Geneva-based UN agency Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' (OHCHR) prepares to publish a crucial report on Nepal's Maoist conflict, the Nepal government will make a last ditch effort today to stall the same, according to sources in Kathmandu.

The UN body is likely to publish the "conflict mapping report" on its website later in the day today.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha is set to call on European Union envoys in Kathmandu today and request them to halt the publication of the report.

Shrestha will cite the peace process that is almost complete and the ongoing process to set up two separate transitional justice commissions as reasons for not publishing the sensitive report, the sources said.

The OHCHR report on Nepal's 10-year conflict archives over 20,000 documents related to human rights violations.

"It appears that the OHCHR is determined to go ahead with its plan, but we are going to request them to block the report as the country is in a crucial phase," a source said.

Ten days ago, government officials held a meeting with Chief of the OHCHR's Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa Branch, Hanny Megally, and requested the latter not to publish the report.

Prepared by a team of international experts, the 300-page report profiles a number of serious "human rights and international humanitarian law violations" by both the then Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist and security forces during the 1996-2006 insurgency.

The government has rejected the report outright, questioning its credibility and sources of information.

Accusing the OHCHR of "crossing its mandate", it says no government entity or official was involved in the preparation of the report.

However, the OHCHR believes that the publication of the report will help Nepal in its pursuit of truth and justice and in ending impunity.


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