Senior UN envoy Brahimi calls for peaceful return to constitutional order in Nepal

With Nepal facing a "very serious crisis," senior United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has said that a solution is "not beyond reach," and urged all political forces to work together to restore constitutional order and multi-party democracy in the strife-torn Himalayan Kingdom, where Moist rebels have been battling the Government for nine years.

"The Nepalese are also conscious that this situation should not be allowed to continue...a solution is needed urgently," Mr. Brahimi, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Adviser said yesterday as he wrapped up a six-day visit to the country, where five months ago King Gyanendra dissolved parliament, imposed a state of emergency and suspended civil liberties in an effort to suppress the long-running insurgency.

Urging all sides to end the hostilities and work towards an inclusive national dialogue needed to solve the current crisis Nepal is facing, he said the UN believed that Nepal was capable of developing a necessary process for a peaceful resolution of the prevailing conflict, "which all wish to see." He added that the UN would remain available to provide its assistance in whatever form it may be needed.

In April, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour and the Government signed an agreement to set up a monitoring operation to help establish accountability for rights abuses and prevent further violations by all sides in the armed conflict, which has been escalating since 1996.

Two UN teams visited the country that month, looking into the needs of an expanded UN rights office there and examining the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Mr. Brahimi, who met with top Nepalese officials in Kathmandu during his stay, said that will now report to the Secretary-General on his findings.