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Carter Center Notes Poor but Improved Tarai Security Environment in Nepal

Read The Carter Center International Observation Mission in Nepal Second Interim Report

(English and Nepali

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

Kathmandu…In a report released today, The Carter Center in Nepal describes the current security environment around the country and notes that while the situation across parts of the Tarai remains poor, it has moderately improved since early-2009. 
"It is a positive step that there have been improvements in the security environment in some areas," said David Pottie, the Carter Center's associate director for Democracy Programs.  "But more work needs to be done to strengthen the rule of law throughout Nepal and ensure that all Nepali citizens are able to fully enjoy peace and security in their daily lives."
The Carter Center recommends swift resolution of the political deadlock in Kathmandu to move the peace process forward and enhance security and rule of law, awareness raising programs about the Special Security Plan (SSP), and an increase in police presence in troubled districts and remote areas. The Center also recommends that the government and political parties take necessary steps to prevent political interference into police affairs, stop official corruption, and take action against those who commit crimes regardless of political affiliation.
In its report, The Carter Center found that the number of abductions has decreased in the Eastern and Central Tarai, possibly because of increased police presence, cross-border cooperation, government talks with armed groups, and changes in local administration. Many citizens in the Tarai remain concerned about the security environment though and worry that criminal activity will increase again in the future.
In the hills and mountains, incidents of violent activity attributed to Maoist cadres have decreased in recent months. However, there are very small number of remote areas where the Maoists appear to exert strong influence and the perception of Maoist threat among citizens remains as a legacy from the conflict.  The Center reported that the recent Maoist protest programs were mainly peaceful, though "black flag" programs resulted in clashes in some districts.  Meanwhile, Youth Communist League cadres have been very active in interfering with tender processes, collecting taxes and forced donations, and charging "mediation" fees.  The UML-affiliated Youth Force is also engaged in the same activities in a number of districts. 
The vast majority of ethnic-based organizations and other marginalized groups are conducting entirely peaceful activities focused on ensuring that the rights of all people are addressed fairly in the new constitution. The Carter Center commends their peaceful activism and urges political leaders to respond to the legitimate concerns that they are raising. There are some areas such as in the Eastern Hills and the Mid Western and Far Western Tarai where a very small number of ethnic-based groups are using aggressive and threatening actions and are collecting taxes and donations.
It is too early to assess the impact of government's Special Security Plan.  However, there are reports that the SSP has helped with boosting police presence and morale in high priority districts.  The Center found that there is a need for greater outreach and awareness raising about the SSP, especially in areas where people are suspicious about its aims. There are additional obstacles to police effectiveness resulting from widespread political interference in security affairs and allegations of official corruption that undermine public confidence in the police.


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The Carter Center:  A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. 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. Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center.

Read more about the Carter Center's work in Nepal

Read The Carter Center International Observation Mission in Nepal First Interim Report (English and Nepali)

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