Annan urges truce between Nepals Government and Communist rebels

Voicing serious concern that fighting could escalate in Nepal after the impending expiration of the unilateral ceasefire declared by Comunist rebels, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged a truce with the country’s Government.The four-month-old ceasefire declared by the Communist party of Nepal (Maoist)(CPN-M) expires on 2 January 2006. In a statement released today by his spokesman, the Secretary-General voiced deep regret that despite numerous appeals, no progress appears to have been made towards a mutually agreed truce between the parties.“The people of Nepal have benefited from the de-escalation of violence in the last four months and they would bear the brunt of a renewal in fighting,” the statement pointed out. “In the interest of peace and the welfare of civilians throughout the country, the Secretary-General therefore reiterates his strong appeal to the Government of Nepal to reciprocate the ceasefire and to the CPN-M to extend its unilateral ceasefire.”Mr. Annan also pledged that the UN would assist the parties at their request.

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