OCHA Nepal Situation Overview Issue No. 56, 01 - 31 Dec 2009

Situation Report
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- UN Central Emergency Response Fund gives US$ 6 million to address hunger in Nepal following winter drought

- Nepal ratifies the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.

- The Ministry of Health and Population confirms two deaths due to H1N1 influenza in Nepal

- The Unified Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist lifts blockade of the Legislative Parliament after four months


Political Developments

A Task Force of the three major political parties, established in early December to resolve the ongoing political stalemate, failed to make substantive progress. The talks reportedly focused on the wording of a resolution to address the following issues: the President's reinstatement of the former Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) and the issue of civilian supremacy, a statement by President Yadav possibly referring to his constitutional role, and a constitutional amendment clarifying the role of the President. The Task Force decided to refer the issues to the top party leaders United Marxist Leninist (UML) Chairman Jhalanath Khanal, United Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist (UCPN-M) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal (also known as Prachanda) and Nepali Congress (NC) President G.P. Koirala on 14 December.

After the Armed Police Forces (APF) forcefully evicted squatters affiliated with the Maoists in Dudhejhari forest, Kailali district, the UCPN-M called a bandh1 in the five western-most Terai districts. Violent clashes during the eviction left four people dead (3 squatters and 1 police officer) and at least 35 injured. Following the fatal clashes, the Cabinet decided to form a Commission to address the problem of landless squatters. The Cabinet also decided to notify UNMIN and the international community of alleged violations of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) by the Maoists.

The UCPN-M announced a general strike in Kailali district on 18 December to press for compensation and classification of the persons who were killed during the 4 December clashes as martyrs. The strike ended on 26 December, following protests by the business community and journalists in the district. On 25 December, the UCPN-M had imposed restrictions on the movement of journalists, the United Nations and non-governmental organizations.

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