No info on 1,042 missing persons: ICRC

Kathmandu, August 29:

The number of disappeared persons in the country has topped thousand and the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) has put the figure at 1,042.

Mary Werntz, head of ICRC delegation to Nepal, told mediapersons here on the eve of International Day of Disappeared: “The ICRC list of missing persons published in February had 812 names. With more families reporting cases of disappearance, the ICRC has revised the figure to 1,042.” She said the figure may have to be revised again. She blamed 10-year-old conflict in the country for the slew of disappearance cases.

“The government of Nepal has not yet fulfilled its obligations under international humanitarian law to the thousands of families of missing persons, who still do not know whether their relatives were dead or alive,” she lamented.

Jean-Paul Carboz, ICRC protection officer, said though the government of Nepal was planning a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, there should be a separate commission on missing persons. “The eight-party government should form the commission on missing persons as per the Peace Accord signed by the government and the Maoists in accordance with the spirit of Interim Constitution of Nepal-2007,” he added.

The ICRC recommended the government to ratify international laws and treaties, including the 1977 additional Geneva Conventions protocol, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the new UN Convention for the Protection from Enforced Disappearance.