Nepal: Civil War Atrocities Follow Royal Takeover
(Kathmandu, February 24, 2005) -- In Nepal’s civil war, both Maoist insurgents and the Royal Nepali Army continue to attack civilians after the royal takeover of power, violating the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today.
Human Rights Watch researchers in the southern town of Nepalgunj documented several attacks on civilians by both the Maoist insurgents and government troops, including the Maoists' burning an ambulance and placing bombs in schools, and government troops shooting and wounding two members of a wedding party.
King Gyanendra, who took over all executive authority on February 1 with military backing, has not yet delivered on his promise to address the brutal civil war against Maoist insurgents, which has claimed the lives of some 11,000 people, mostly civilians. Since February 10, the Maoist rebels have used extreme violence to enforce a strict nationwide strike (or “bandh”) by blockading roads and attacking civilians who defy the ban on work or movement. Maoist fighters have attacked civilian cargo trucks and passenger buses, and threatened to cut off the hands of drivers who defy the bandh.