Nepal

Monthly Update – December 2011

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This report is issued by the UN RCHCO with inputs from its UN Field Coordination Offices and other partners and sources. The report covers December 2011. The next report will be issued the first week of February 2012.

CONTEXT

Political Update

Inter-party discussions have slowed down the pace of activity on peace process, power sharing and constitution drafting priorities. These were overshadowed by controversies regarding the Government‟s decision to create separate units within the Nepal Army for Madheshi, Dalit and other disadvantaged groups and to recruit an initial 3,000 soldiers from these groups. The government decided to petition the Supreme Court to review its 26 November ruling against any further extension of the Constituent Assembly, a request that the Court refused to register. Both actions caused further controversy. The dispute resolution subcommittee of the constitution committee reached understanding on a few of the contentious issues but the Constitutional Committee has submitted a proposal for more time to address the remaining ones, without a requesting an amendment to the 28 May deadline for promulgating the new constitution.

Operational Space

The month of December saw an increase in incidents affecting the operational space of Nepal‟s development and humanitarian partners. Although most bandh organizers allowed the movement of blue-plated vehicles, INGOs were often affected by the bandhs. Other BOGs signatories imposed self-restrictions on their movement during bandhs and protests. The bandhs that mostly affected BOGs signatories were the nation-wide bandh called by the Nepali Congress and its sister organizations protesting the killing of the Chitwan Tarun Dal Chairperson; the five regional bandhs called by the Verified Minors and Late Recruits (VMLRs) between 29 December-2 January (a nation-wide bandh has been announced for 5 January); and the bandhs called by Dalit organizations during the second half of December to protest the caste-based murder of a Dalit youth in Kalikot (see below).