(AFP) – Sep 11, 2012
KATHMANDU — The United States has urged Nepal to work harder for justice over atrocities committed during the country's 10-year civil war after striking the ruling Maoist party off its terror blacklist.
Nepal's leaders are setting up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate wartime killings, torture and forced disappearances and are considering proposals to grant an amnesty for abuses committed by both sides.
But speaking on a visit to the restive Himalayan nation, US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake said any such commission had to address the victims' desire for justice.
"A key part of concluding a successful peace process will be for all parties to develop transitional justice mechanisms that are independent, credible, and transparent, and that address the concerns of all Nepalis, particularly the victims and their families," said Blake.
"It is crucial that any truth and reconciliation commission be credible and aligned with internationally recognised human rights standards. We know most Nepalis agree that more must be done to hold wrongdoers accountable and uphold the rule of law," he added at the end of a two-day visit to Nepal late Tuesday.
More than 16,000 people died in the conflict between Maoist rebels and the state, which ended in 2006, and more than 1,000 are still missing.
Blake said Nepal had made "significant progress" since the conflict and it was "time for all political leaders to commit to finishing the job for the future of the country".
"We wish to see a stable, democratic, and prosperous Nepal in which the rights of all citizens are protected and the rule of law respected," he added.
The US State Department said last week it was removing the Maoists from its blacklist of terrorist groups as the party was "no longer engaged in terrorist activity that threatens the security of US nationals or US foreign policy".
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