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Statement by Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Nepal

(नेपालीमा पढ्नुहोस)

Contacts: In Atlanta, Deborah Hakes +1 404-420-5124; 
In Kathmandu, Sarah Levit-Shore +977-1-444-5055/1446

I am concerned by the tensions, prolonged strikes, and incidents of political violence that have taken place throughout Nepal in recent weeks. Positively, it appears that these tensions have reduced in the last few days following the signing of several agreements between the Government of Nepal and protesting groups, as well as some commendable initiatives at the local level. However, the risk that the situation could again deteriorate in the coming days or weeks remains present.

Carter Center observers deployed across the country have noted increased instances of conflict in districts across Nepal, particularly between identity-based actors advocating different forms of federalism. This has been most evident in the Far Western Tarai to date, but serious tensions have also been reported in the Western and Eastern Regions. If not addressed properly at the national level, this situation could escalate into increased violence, which has the potential to become communal in nature.

As the May 27 deadline nears, I urge the Government of Nepal, political leaders, civil society, protesting groups, and Nepali citizens to continue their efforts to calm recent tensions, engage in dialogue in order to resolve the differences that have arisen, and to refrain from provocative, violent, or aggressive actions that could worsen the current situation. I call on all political actors to ensure their cadres respect the rule of law, freedom of the press, and the rights of citizens. I also urge security forces to demonstrate restraint and impartiality, as it is important to ensure that communities do not feel unfairly targeted by the state.

At this critical time, Nepal's political leaders should act responsibly, consult broadly and inclusively with all relevant stakeholders, work to address the concerns that have been raised at the local level, and make maximum efforts to reach acceptable compromises within the framework laid out in 2006 in order to ensure the legitimacy and sustainability of the new constitution.

Nepal's peace process has resulted in many historic achievements. The promulgation of a democratic and inclusive constitution that is broadly accepted and addresses the diverse aspirations of the people of Nepal, followed by credible democratic elections, are the next steps in order to consolidate these achievements.

Since 2005, I have watched all of Nepal's political actors demonstrate their capacity to reach difficult compromises for the sake of their country. I remain confident that they possess the courage and strength to do so again now. At this crucial time, all Nepalis – whether political leaders or ordinary citizens – should redouble their efforts to ensure Nepal fulfils the promise of its democratic progress. I remain dedicated to supporting the people of Nepal as you continue along the path to sustainable peace and prosperity. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. The Carter Center is a not-for-profit, nongovernmental, and non-partisan organization. Working to support peace in Nepal since 2003, The Carter Center deployed an international election observation mission to observe the 2008 Constituent Assembly election. The Center has remained in country with a mandate to observe the constitution drafting efforts, peace process, and voter registration process, with a focus on the local level. As an international observation mission, The Carter Center in Nepal is committed to impartiality, and does not provide support or funding to any group, party, or organization. Read all recent Carter Center reports >

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