This past November, Nepal celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord, which brought a formal end to Nepal’s decade long civil war. To commemorate the occasion, the Nepal Transitions to Peace Institute with the support of the United States Agency for International Development, the Swiss Foreign Ministry and the European Union, hosted a multi-day international conference in Kathmandu from November 16-18. Attending were many of the inside actors who participated in formal and back channel talks and negotiations, as well as national and international advisers and facilitators. The Peace Appeal’s Hannes Siebert and Andries Odendaal were invited speakers. Siebert, who along with Swiss Envoys Guenther Bachler, and later Markus Heiniger, played a senior advisory role in supporting many of the talks leading up to the Accord and in the months and years following. Odendaal worked extensively with Nepali counterparts in the preparation and planning for a nationwide network of local peace committees.
10 years after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord, Nepal’s path towards peace is still a work in progress. The country only approved a new constitution in 2015. It was met with significant opposition by some parties in the country. This past year saw the much delayed launch of official processes of the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has in the last months received over 57,000 complaints, and it’s Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared (an estimated 1,300 people disappeared in the country’s civil war). Transitional justice processes are slow and difficult, and are under great scrutiny by both Nepalese and the international community. Though there are inspiring examples of community level reconciliation efforts, too few communities have been reached. Justice in Nepal, and greater opportunity for its deeply impoverished rural communities, will require sustained effort for years to come.