UN chief worried over Nepal`s political crisis

UN chief Ban-Ki moon has expressed concern over the prospect of a "serious political-constitutional crisis" in Nepal where no substantive progress has been made on the peace process.

Updated: May 06, 2010, 11:29 AM IST

New York: UN chief Ban-Ki moon has expressed concern over the prospect of a "serious political-constitutional crisis" in Nepal where no substantive progress has been made on the peace process.

In his new report that has been presented to the Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that no substantive progress has been made on the peace process since he last reported in January and appealed to the parties concerned to resolve the conflict.

"The Secretary-General also said the prospect of a serious political-constitutional crisis resulting from failure to promulgate the Constitution by 28 May has raised concerns,"
Martin Nesikry, Ban`s spokesperson told journalists.

"He (Ban) appeals to the Government and the parties to resolve without delay the remaining political impediments, and underlines that only adherence to existing commitments and a negotiated settlement, will offer a satisfactory outcome for the future of Nepal," Nesriky added.

The top tasks for the principle political actors in Nepal are to promulgate a new constitution by May 28 and the rehabilitation and integration of the Maoist combatants into the Army.

In February, former Maoist child soldiers were discharged from temporary camps where they have been living since the end of the civil war in Nepal.

Ban`s report comes at a time when the Maoists have launched a massive national strike that has brought the streets and schools of Kathmandu to a halt, demanding resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.

In 2008, Nepal held national elections for its national assembly but two years on the politicians have not delivered on a Constitution.

The Maoists won the elections but lost support last year, over the attempted firing of head of the army by Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal who was then prime minister.

"The Secretary-General also expressed strong hope to see the parties move forward in the implementation of the agreements they have reached, with the aim of adopting a new Constitution and ensuring long-term peace, stability and prosperity," Nesirky said.

The UN chief also noted that if the government wanted stay of the peacekeeping force (UNMIN) in Nepal to be extended, then he would recommend such an extension to the Security Council.

"He (Ban) underlines his expectation that such a request specify the areas in which UNMIN should strengthen its support, in order to both expedite progress in the peace process and to enable the Mission to complete its mandated tasks," Nesirky said.

In January, the Security Council passed a resolution that extended the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force (UNMIN) till May.

PTI