KATHMANDU, Feb 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Nepal has
extended the term of two panels investigating allegations of war
crimes committed during the Himalayan nation's decade-long civil
war, saying more time was needed to probe the tens of thousands
The conflict between government forces and Maoist rebels
ended in 2006. Seeking justice for killings, disappearances,
rapes, arbitrary arrests and torture is a key provision of the
More than 17,000 people died during the conflict and more
than 1,300 are missing. After more than 10 years of peace,
families and victims are still waiting to know what happened to
their missing loved ones and see perpetrators punished.
"The terms of both commissions have been extended by one
year to complete their work," Law Minister Ajaya Shankar Nayak
told the Thomson Reuters Foundation after a cabinet meeting late
Two commissions were established in 2015 - one to probe
enforced disappearances and another to investigate more than
60,000 complaints of violations committed during the war.
Survivors, victim's families, and activists said the
extension was not enough. They said current legislation
pertaining to war crimes must be amended as currently
perpetrators can be granted amnesty.
Political parties - many of which have members accused of
war crimes - have no intention of seriously addressing victims'
grievances, said Laxmi Koirala, whose husband was allegedly
killed by rebels in 1998.
"We have been patiently waiting all these years for justice
and reparations," Koirala said. "There will be fresh conflict in
the country if this inaction drags on."
Law minister Nayak insisted amendments to the war crimes
legislation were in the final stages and had been held up by
political infighting over the constitution adopted in 2015.
(Reporting by Gopal Sharma @imgsharma, Editing by Nita Bhalla
and Alisa Tang. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation,
the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian
news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate
change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org)