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Last Updated: Friday, 30 December 2005, 16:22 GMT
Abuses drop during Maoist truce
By Navin Singh Khadka
BBC News, Kathmandu

A Nepalese Maoist guerrilla woman holds a rifle while watching an armed exercise in Bhojpur, eastern Nepal
The rebels have not said whether they will extend the truce
Human rights abuses in Nepal have fallen significantly since Maoist rebels announced a unilateral ceasefire in September, rights monitors say.

The National Human Rights Commission of Nepal said killings and bombings had dropped sharply in 33 conflict-hit districts in the past four months.

Its findings came three days before the truce is due to end. The rebels have said nothing about extending it.

The government has ignored the rebels' move, saying they are insincere.

'Good trend'

Nepal's Human Rights Commission said 480 people had been killed in conflict-affected areas in the three months before the rebel ceasefire.

The number of people killed and explosions decreased significantly
Sudip Pathak,
Human Rights Commission

That figure dropped to 90 in the three months after the truce was announced.

The commission's records showed similar sharp drops in the number of explosions and in the number of people reported to have "disappeared" in government or rebel custody.

But the commission did say that both sides were still continuing to abuse human rights, including extrajudicial arrests, torture, abductions and extortion.

"The trend has been good. The number of people killed and explosions decreased significantly during the ceasefire, but other violence, like abductions, increased," said commission member Sudip Pathak.

The government and the rebels regularly say they respect human rights - despite evidence to the contrary from local and international rights groups.

The authorities say the rebels used previous ceasefires to re-group and re-arm.

More than 12,000 people have died in the 10 years since the Maoists began their fight to replace the monarchy with a communist republic.

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