Showing posts tagged as "nepal"

Showing posts tagged nepal

1 Apr
CrisisWatch N°116 | 01 April 2013
In the Central African Republic, a peace deal signed two months ago in Libreville collapsed as the Seleka rebel alliance, having repeatedly violated the ceasefire, seized the capital Bangui on 24 March. President Francois Bozizé fled to Cameroon. Seleka leader Michel Djotodia declared himself president and suspended the constitution and National Assembly. The African Union condemned Seleka’s “unconstitutional change” of government, suspending CAR’s membership and imposing sanctions against Seleka’s leaders. Despite its rapid seizure of power, the Seleka coalition appears fragile and prone to fragmentation, prompting fears that factions may take up arms again. Crisis Group identifies a conflict risk for Central African Republic.
Tensions continued to escalate on the Korean peninsula. The UN Security Council’s 7 March resolution condemning North Korea’s February nuclear test prompted Pyongyang to threaten pre-emptive nuclear strikes against “invaders”. North Korea announced that it would no longer be bound by the 1953 Korean War armistice, and cut off communications hotlines with South Korea and the UN Command in Seoul. The North Korean army ordered all its rocket and long-range artillery units to be combat-ready and targeting U.S. bases and territory, and the government declared North Korea to be in a “state of war” with South Korea. In a show of force the U.S. flew B-52 and B-2 bombers over South Korea and deployed F-22 stealth fighters to the South as part of an ongoing military exercise. On 31 March, a rare Central Committee meeting in Pyongyang declared nuclear weapons are non-negotiable and North Korea’s nuclear status should be written into law.
In a new outbreak of intercommunal violence in Myanmar in the central town of Meiktila on 20-22 March, more than 40 people were killed and over 12,000 displaced, and hundreds of mainly Muslim-owned buildings destroyed, in attacks by Buddhist mobs. President Thein Sein imposed a state of emergency in the area and deployed the military to restore calm. Amid speculation that the attacks were pre-planned by extremists, there was widespread concern as the violence spread to towns and villages in other parts of the country in the following days, although there were no reported casualties from these other incidents.
The political uncertainty and paralysis gripping Lebanon worsened with the abrupt resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati on 22 March following a standoff with Hizbollah. Political instability further fed ongoing sectarian tensions and clashes, mainly in the southern town of Saida and the northern city of Tripoli, where a dozen people were killed in clashes between Sunni and Alawite militants 22-24 March. Regular cross-border shelling by Syria continued, and the Syrian regime for the first time launched air strikes inside Lebanon.
Within Syria the first credible reports emerged of chemical weapons use in the ongoing conflict. The government and rebels accused each other of firing a rocket loaded with chemical agents near Aleppo on 19 March, and the opposition reported two people killed in an alleged chemical missile attack on Adra, near Damascus.
Iraq’s political crisis again deepened in March. Widespread demonstrations in Sunni areas of the country have met an increasingly hardline security response, with security forces killing two Sunni protesters in Mosul on 8 March. Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi resigned his post, as did Agriculture Minister Ezz al-Din al-Dawla, in solidarity with the protesters. Meanwhile Iraq’s parliament relied exclusively on votes from the Shia’s political blocs to pass the 2013 budget law, illustrating Baghdad’s increasingly sectarian politics.
As the stalemate between Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi and the opposition continued, violent clashes between opponents and supporters of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood broke out outside the Islamists’ headquarters in Cairo on 22 March. Subsequent days also saw violent protests. President Morsi warned that he would take “necessary measures” to “protect the nation”, and the prosecutor general ordered the arrest of several activists. The violence took place as political demonstrations and riots in Egypt are increasingly giving way to socio-economic protest in the face of fuel shortages, inflation and price increases.
Nepal’s main parties ended months of political deadlock on 14 March. They agreed to hold elections to a new Constituent Assembly by 21 June under an interim election government, led by Supreme Court chief justice Khil Raj Regmi. The interim government will comprise retired bureaucrats, and be guided by a political committee of the four largest parties. If elections are not held in June, the government will be extended until 15 December.
Prospects for peace between Turkey’s government and Kurdish insurgents are improving after five months of negotiations between the national intelligence agency and the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan. The 21 March call by Öcalan for an eventual ceasefire and withdrawal to outside Turkish borders – and PKK’s military leader Murat Karayılan’s subsequent acceptance of the idea – are particularly positive signs.
FULL CRISISWATCH
Photo: hdptcar/Flickr

CrisisWatch N°116 | 01 April 2013

In the Central African Republic, a peace deal signed two months ago in Libreville collapsed as the Seleka rebel alliance, having repeatedly violated the ceasefire, seized the capital Bangui on 24 March. President Francois Bozizé fled to Cameroon. Seleka leader Michel Djotodia declared himself president and suspended the constitution and National Assembly. The African Union condemned Seleka’s “unconstitutional change” of government, suspending CAR’s membership and imposing sanctions against Seleka’s leaders. Despite its rapid seizure of power, the Seleka coalition appears fragile and prone to fragmentation, prompting fears that factions may take up arms again. Crisis Group identifies a conflict risk for Central African Republic.

Tensions continued to escalate on the Korean peninsula. The UN Security Council’s 7 March resolution condemning North Korea’s February nuclear test prompted Pyongyang to threaten pre-emptive nuclear strikes against “invaders”. North Korea announced that it would no longer be bound by the 1953 Korean War armistice, and cut off communications hotlines with South Korea and the UN Command in Seoul. The North Korean army ordered all its rocket and long-range artillery units to be combat-ready and targeting U.S. bases and territory, and the government declared North Korea to be in a “state of war” with South Korea. In a show of force the U.S. flew B-52 and B-2 bombers over South Korea and deployed F-22 stealth fighters to the South as part of an ongoing military exercise. On 31 March, a rare Central Committee meeting in Pyongyang declared nuclear weapons are non-negotiable and North Korea’s nuclear status should be written into law.

In a new outbreak of intercommunal violence in Myanmar in the central town of Meiktila on 20-22 March, more than 40 people were killed and over 12,000 displaced, and hundreds of mainly Muslim-owned buildings destroyed, in attacks by Buddhist mobs. President Thein Sein imposed a state of emergency in the area and deployed the military to restore calm. Amid speculation that the attacks were pre-planned by extremists, there was widespread concern as the violence spread to towns and villages in other parts of the country in the following days, although there were no reported casualties from these other incidents.

The political uncertainty and paralysis gripping Lebanon worsened with the abrupt resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati on 22 March following a standoff with Hizbollah. Political instability further fed ongoing sectarian tensions and clashes, mainly in the southern town of Saida and the northern city of Tripoli, where a dozen people were killed in clashes between Sunni and Alawite militants 22-24 March. Regular cross-border shelling by Syria continued, and the Syrian regime for the first time launched air strikes inside Lebanon.

Within Syria the first credible reports emerged of chemical weapons use in the ongoing conflict. The government and rebels accused each other of firing a rocket loaded with chemical agents near Aleppo on 19 March, and the opposition reported two people killed in an alleged chemical missile attack on Adra, near Damascus.

Iraq’s political crisis again deepened in March. Widespread demonstrations in Sunni areas of the country have met an increasingly hardline security response, with security forces killing two Sunni protesters in Mosul on 8 March. Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi resigned his post, as did Agriculture Minister Ezz al-Din al-Dawla, in solidarity with the protesters. Meanwhile Iraq’s parliament relied exclusively on votes from the Shia’s political blocs to pass the 2013 budget law, illustrating Baghdad’s increasingly sectarian politics.

As the stalemate between Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi and the opposition continued, violent clashes between opponents and supporters of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood broke out outside the Islamists’ headquarters in Cairo on 22 March. Subsequent days also saw violent protests. President Morsi warned that he would take “necessary measures” to “protect the nation”, and the prosecutor general ordered the arrest of several activists. The violence took place as political demonstrations and riots in Egypt are increasingly giving way to socio-economic protest in the face of fuel shortages, inflation and price increases.

Nepal’s main parties ended months of political deadlock on 14 March. They agreed to hold elections to a new Constituent Assembly by 21 June under an interim election government, led by Supreme Court chief justice Khil Raj Regmi. The interim government will comprise retired bureaucrats, and be guided by a political committee of the four largest parties. If elections are not held in June, the government will be extended until 15 December.

Prospects for peace between Turkey’s government and Kurdish insurgents are improving after five months of negotiations between the national intelligence agency and the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan. The 21 March call by Öcalan for an eventual ceasefire and withdrawal to outside Turkish borders – and PKK’s military leader Murat Karayılan’s subsequent acceptance of the idea – are particularly positive signs.

FULL CRISISWATCH

Photo: hdptcar/Flickr

13 Nov
Nepal in budget crisis | ABC Radio Australia
Nepal is once again in crisis, with the caretaker government’s authority to access funds from the treasury coming to an end on Thursday.Nepal which has no parliament nor constitution since May has been surviving on emergency funds after rival political parties failed to pass a fiscal budget in July.Now the Maoist led caretaker government is taking its budget proposal to the president.
FULL TRANSCRIPT (ABC Radio Australia)
Photo: Keso S/Flickr

Nepal in budget crisis | ABC Radio Australia

Nepal is once again in crisis, with the caretaker government’s authority to access funds from the treasury coming to an end on Thursday.

Nepal which has no parliament nor constitution since May has been surviving on emergency funds after rival political parties failed to pass a fiscal budget in July.

Now the Maoist led caretaker government is taking its budget proposal to the president.

FULL TRANSCRIPT (ABC Radio Australia)

Photo: Keso S/Flickr

7 Sep
US strikes Nepal Maoists from terror blacklist | AFPBy Jo Biddle
WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday removed Nepal’s ruling Maoist party, which after a bloody, decade-long insurgency now heads a caretaker government, from its blacklist of terrorist organizations.
After almost a decade as a designated global terrorist body, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), or CPN(M), which laid down its arms in 2006 to enter politics, was struck off the list, the State Department said.
FULL ARTICLE (AFP)
Photo: ktm.hoke/Flickr

US strikes Nepal Maoists from terror blacklist | AFP

By Jo Biddle

WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday removed Nepal’s ruling Maoist party, which after a bloody, decade-long insurgency now heads a caretaker government, from its blacklist of terrorist organizations.

After almost a decade as a designated global terrorist body, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), or CPN(M), which laid down its arms in 2006 to enter politics, was struck off the list, the State Department said.

FULL ARTICLE (AFP)

Photo: ktm.hoke/Flickr

28 Aug
"The absence of an elected parliament, coupled with the high trust deficit between the government and opposition parties, bodes ill for stability."

—Crisis Group’s new Asia Report: Nepal’s Constitution (I): Evolution Not Revolution

The ground has shifted beneath Nepal’s peace process. New forces – organised and spontaneous, pro- and anti-federalism, inside and outside parties – complicate negotiations but must have their say.
-From Nepal’s Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix, by Crisis Group
Photo: artist in doing nothin/flickr

The ground has shifted beneath Nepal’s peace process. New forces – organised and spontaneous, pro- and anti-federalism, inside and outside parties – complicate negotiations but must have their say.

-From Nepal’s Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix, by Crisis Group

Photo: artist in doing nothin/flickr

27 Aug

Nepal’s peace process was to end with a new constitution. Yet, after four years of delays and disputes, the country’s main political parties were unable to agree on federalism, a core demand of large constituencies.

-From Crisis Group’s latest report, Nepal’s Constitution (I): Evolution Not Revolution
Photo: ralky/flickr

Nepal’s peace process was to end with a new constitution. Yet, after four years of delays and disputes, the country’s main political parties were unable to agree on federalism, a core demand of large constituencies.

-From Crisis Group’s latest report, Nepal’s Constitution (I): Evolution Not Revolution

Photo: ralky/flickr

Nepal’s Constitution: The Political Impasse | International Crisis Group
Kathmandu/Brussels  |   27 Aug 2012
Nepal’s major political parties must urgently agree on a roadmap to negotiate on federalism and write the new constitution, whether by holding elections to a new Constituent Assembly or reviving the previous body.
Nepal’s Constitution (I): Evolution not Revolution and Nepal’s Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix, two new reports from the International Crisis Group, describe the interplay of issues, political behaviours and the shifting balance between actors that will determine how Nepal will get a constitution and what it might look like. The papers examine the reasons for the current political deadlock and the options the parties have to improve negotiations and deliver the new constitution. They describe the significant changes in the political landscape, the schisms in major parties and the emergence of new alliances and new actors, and how these affect discussions on federalism.
“To get the constitution-writing process back on track, mainstream politicians have to manage their parties better, listen to diverse opinions, and clarify their own agendas”, says Anagha Neelakantan, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for South Asia. “Otherwise they risk ceding political space to extremists who might appear more action-oriented or sympathetic to a frustrated polity”.
Nepali actors are deeply divided on the role of identity politics in the proposed federal set-up.  Their differences reflect divergences within Nepali society. The parties have often not listened to their own members and done very little to explain their sometimes haphazard proposals for federalism to the general public. This has given rise to deep anxieties as well as high expectations. They also made secretive and top-down decisions that went over badly with smaller interest groups.
In the lead-up to the Constituent Assembly’s May 2012 deadline, a sharp social polarisation appeared between groups that demand a federal model based on identity and those that feel they will lose out in the new system. There were also instances of communally tinged violence. Although things are calm now, triggers remain.
The parties must urgently start discussing how to agree on a roadmap. Both options currently on the table, reviving the last Constituent Assembly and holding elections to a new one, contain risks if they are not managed well. How to accommodate the ambitions of parties to lead government should be part of this discussion, but cannot dominate, as it currently does.  The absence of a legislature could worsen tensions between parties. The constitutional ambiguity could also pose a challenge to relations between the prime minister and the president, and the executive and the judiciary. Negotiations on the way ahead and on constitutional issues need to be more transparent and inclusive. There are many groups that want to be heard. Nepal’s parties need to take them into confidence, or risk creating conditions in which violence could become an option. 
“Nepal is undergoing a democratic transition and its political parties must use this to enhance the practice of participatory democracy at all levels”, says Paul Quinn-Judge, Crisis Group’s Acting Asia Program Director. “Negotiating a broadly acceptable constitution is at the heart of this process. Difficult as it might be, this project cannot be abandoned”.
FULL REPORT (I) (Crisis Group)
FULL REPORT (II) (Crisis Group)

Nepal’s Constitution: The Political Impasse | International Crisis Group

Kathmandu/Brussels  |   27 Aug 2012

Nepal’s major political parties must urgently agree on a roadmap to negotiate on federalism and write the new constitution, whether by holding elections to a new Constituent Assembly or reviving the previous body.

Nepal’s Constitution (I): Evolution not Revolution and Nepal’s Constitution (II): The Expanding Political Matrix, two new reports from the International Crisis Group, describe the interplay of issues, political behaviours and the shifting balance between actors that will determine how Nepal will get a constitution and what it might look like. The papers examine the reasons for the current political deadlock and the options the parties have to improve negotiations and deliver the new constitution. They describe the significant changes in the political landscape, the schisms in major parties and the emergence of new alliances and new actors, and how these affect discussions on federalism.

“To get the constitution-writing process back on track, mainstream politicians have to manage their parties better, listen to diverse opinions, and clarify their own agendas”, says Anagha Neelakantan, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for South Asia. “Otherwise they risk ceding political space to extremists who might appear more action-oriented or sympathetic to a frustrated polity”.

Nepali actors are deeply divided on the role of identity politics in the proposed federal set-up.  Their differences reflect divergences within Nepali society. The parties have often not listened to their own members and done very little to explain their sometimes haphazard proposals for federalism to the general public. This has given rise to deep anxieties as well as high expectations. They also made secretive and top-down decisions that went over badly with smaller interest groups.

In the lead-up to the Constituent Assembly’s May 2012 deadline, a sharp social polarisation appeared between groups that demand a federal model based on identity and those that feel they will lose out in the new system. There were also instances of communally tinged violence. Although things are calm now, triggers remain.

The parties must urgently start discussing how to agree on a roadmap. Both options currently on the table, reviving the last Constituent Assembly and holding elections to a new one, contain risks if they are not managed well. How to accommodate the ambitions of parties to lead government should be part of this discussion, but cannot dominate, as it currently does.  The absence of a legislature could worsen tensions between parties. The constitutional ambiguity could also pose a challenge to relations between the prime minister and the president, and the executive and the judiciary. Negotiations on the way ahead and on constitutional issues need to be more transparent and inclusive. There are many groups that want to be heard. Nepal’s parties need to take them into confidence, or risk creating conditions in which violence could become an option. 

“Nepal is undergoing a democratic transition and its political parties must use this to enhance the practice of participatory democracy at all levels”, says Paul Quinn-Judge, Crisis Group’s Acting Asia Program Director. “Negotiating a broadly acceptable constitution is at the heart of this process. Difficult as it might be, this project cannot be abandoned”.

FULL REPORT (I) (Crisis Group)

FULL REPORT (II) (Crisis Group)

29 Jun
Humanitarian Fallout From Nepal’s Constitutional Stalemate | IRIN News
One month after Nepal’s prime minister dissolved parliament on 28 May, IRIN takes a look at the humanitarian consequences of the country’s ongoing constitutional deadlock and the rapid succession of governments, in which five prime ministers have held office in the past four years. 
The 600 members of the Constituent Assembly (CA), who were elected in 2008 to draft a new constitution as part of a 2006 peace deal after a decade of civil war, failed to meet the fourth and final deadline to draft a post-conflict constitution on 27 May. 
One of the main deal-breakers was a lack of agreement on how to constitute the federal system. Various parties proposed states based on ethnicity, language or geography, but ultimately the politicians failed to agree on how to administer the country, or what to name the new states. 
FULL ARTICLE (IRIN)


Photo: Phuong Tran/ IRIN

Humanitarian Fallout From Nepal’s Constitutional Stalemate | IRIN News

One month after Nepal’s prime minister dissolved parliament on 28 May, IRIN takes a look at the humanitarian consequences of the country’s ongoing constitutional deadlock and the rapid succession of governments, in which five prime ministers have held office in the past four years. 

The 600 members of the Constituent Assembly (CA), who were elected in 2008 to draft a new constitution as part of a 2006 peace deal after a decade of civil war, failed to meet the fourth and final deadline to draft a post-conflict constitution on 27 May. 

One of the main deal-breakers was a lack of agreement on how to constitute the federal system. Various parties proposed states based on ethnicity, language or geography, but ultimately the politicians failed to agree on how to administer the country, or what to name the new states. 

FULL ARTICLE (IRIN)

Photo: Phuong Tran/ IRIN

6 Jun
International Crisis Group

CrisisWatch N°106

CrisisWatch N°106 | International Crisis Group

2 May 2012: This month’s podcast reviews developments for the month of May, highlighting conflict risk alerts in Lebanon, Mali and Syria, and deteriorated situations in DR Congo, Lebanon, Mali, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan and Syria. The situation improved in Haiti. 3:59.

10 plays
30 May
Nepal forms caretaker government pending new elections | Los Angeles Times
By Kyle Knight and Mark Magnier
Nepal announced the formation of a caretaker government Tuesday and settled into a tense calm after a weekend constitutional crisis led the prime minister to call elections, some four years and several shaky governments after the country set out to write its crucial, if elusive, national blueprint.But it wasn’t clear whether the caretaker government would survive until the Nov. 22 election, after three allies left the ruling coalition Monday amid calls for Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s resignation.The political crisis was sparked when the deadline to draft a new constitution passed Sunday as parties battled over whether to divide states along ethnic lines under a federalist system, an issue that has led to violent protests in recent weeks.Many minorities feel their interests have been undermined for centuries by a cabal in and around the Katmandu Valley and see the constitution as their best opportunity to right perceived wrongs.Nepal, wedged between India and China, abolished its Hindu monarchy and became a republic in 2006 after a decade of armed conflict but has lurched from one political crisis to the next ever since.
FULL ARTICLE (LA Times)
Photo: Prakash Mathema/ AFP/ Getty Images

Nepal forms caretaker government pending new elections | Los Angeles Times

By Kyle Knight and Mark Magnier

Nepal announced the formation of a caretaker government Tuesday and settled into a tense calm after a weekend constitutional crisis led the prime minister to call elections, some four years and several shaky governments after the country set out to write its crucial, if elusive, national blueprint.

But it wasn’t clear whether the caretaker government would survive until the Nov. 22 election, after three allies left the ruling coalition Monday amid calls for Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s resignation.

The political crisis was sparked when the deadline to draft a new constitution passed Sunday as parties battled over whether to divide states along ethnic lines under a federalist system, an issue that has led to violent protests in recent weeks.

Many minorities feel their interests have been undermined for centuries by a cabal in and around the Katmandu Valley and see the constitution as their best opportunity to right perceived wrongs.

Nepal, wedged between India and China, abolished its Hindu monarchy and became a republic in 2006 after a decade of armed conflict but has lurched from one political crisis to the next ever since.

FULL ARTICLE (LA Times)

Photo: Prakash Mathema/ AFP/ Getty Images