KATHMANDU, March 8: A day after clashes between security personnel and protesters left at least three people dead and several others injured in Saptari district, the United Nations and the United States have urged political parties in Nepal to express their views peacefully.
Issuing a statement on Tuesday, the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal also called on security forces to comply with the existing national and international standards on the use of force.
“We are saddened by the loss of lives and injuries which resulted from the recent violent clashes in Saptari district between political party cadres and state security forces. Violence has no place in the freedom of expression and assembly,” said the statement, while expressing concern over the escalation of tensions in the lead up to the local elections announced for May.
The UN said it encourages inclusive and meaningful dialogue to create and strengthen a conducive environment to conduct the local election. “The United Nations is committed to working with all Nepalis to take the country toward a peaceful and prosperous future,” the statement further read.
Meanwhile, the US has urged all protesters and parties to continue to engage in the democratic process through non-violent means.
Issuing a press statement on Tuesday, the US Embassy in Kathmandu said it is deeply concerned by the signs of rising volatility in some areas of Nepal, including Monday's clashes in Saptari that left three people dead and several others injured.
“The right to peacefully express one's political views is a fundamental component of an inclusive democracy, but violence should not be a part of the political discourse. We call on Nepali security forces to exercise maximum restraint as people express their democratic rights,” said the statement.
The US also said that it is encouraged to see the people and the Government of Nepal prepare for the historic local election. “This is an important step toward implementing the constitution and ensuring responsiveness and accountability in locales across the country,” added the statement.