This article is published in Nepal Human Rights Yearbook 2o11 Written by: Krishna Prasad Subedi Project Coordinator Mine

Action and SAplW Surveillance System, INSEC, Nepal Mail:; www.;

ERW, Small and Portable Lethal Weapons : Threats and Challenges



Nepal Human Rights Yearbook 2011


Background Each year large number of civilians are killed and maimed by the “explosive remnants of war”. These are the unexploded and abandoned ordinances, such as artillery shells, mortars, grenades, bombs and rockets, which are left behind after an armed conflict. When an armed conflict is over, the battlefields are often littered with explosive debris. Much of this debris is still dangerous, in particular the stocks of weapons which were left behind by combatants and the explosive munitions that were fired but had failed to go off as intended.1 For the civilians and communities in war-affected countries the presence of these weapons represents an ongoing threat. Globally, there are millions of explosive remnants of war on the ground today, affecting more than 83 countries. It is known that millions of people living in these 83 countries are affected by land mines, but the size of the global landmine problem has not yet been well defined. It is estimated that 10,000 civilians are killed or maimed every year by landmines, a large number of which are children.2 The relative low cost and ease of availability of improvised explosive devices and land mines make them suitable for adoption in civil conflicts, especially in developing countries. In Nepal, the erstwhile CPN-Maoist used IED as anti-tank mines to target security force vehicles. Similarly, the security forces also used fragmentation and blast types of antipersonnel mines and MOTAPM (Mines Other than AntiPersonnel Mines) massively during the period of the 10-year-long civil war.3 In addition to these, other explosive devices and small arms were also responsible for the
1. 2. 3. 4.

loss of thousand of civilian’s lives and limbs in Nepal. The peace agreement may have been signed, and the hostilities may have ceased, but landmines and the explosive remnants of war (ERW) are an enduring legacy of the conflict.4 Even though the 10-year-old armed conflict has come to an end, the threat of explosive remnants of war has been left in its wake. Point number 5.1.4 of the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) was signed by the CPN-Maoist and the Government of Nepal signed on November 21, 2007 states that “both sides shall assist each other to mark landmines and boobytraps used during the time of armed conflict by providing necessary information within 30 days and defuse and excavate the within 60 days.” The point was included in the CPA to exterminate the threat of the explosive remnants of war by trying to limit the effects of victim-activated explosions. In contrary to the emphasis on establishing sustainable peace as mentioned in the CPA, the weak implementation by both conflicting parties of the aforementioned point, has led to new types of emerging violence by allowing for the increase in the use of small arms and portable lethal weapons for criminal purposes, especially in the Tarai belt of Nepal. This has not only caused the loss of lives and the destruction of civilian property, but has also emerged as a new challenge for the ongoing peace process and reconciliation. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of concern among the relevant stake holders on the impact that the use of victim-activated explosives, small arms and portable light weapons has on human lives, the environmental consequences, and the html Govt to Outline Defense Policy on Landmines”, Himalayan Times, 3 February 2004. Global Burden of Armed Violence, Geneva Declaration Secretariat, Geneva, 2008 Global Burden of Armed Violence, Geneva Declaration Secretariat, Geneva, 2008

Nepal Human Rights Yearbook 2011


psychological and social trauma. Likewise, the lack of a common consensus on the issues of the ongoing peace process and transitional justice among the concerned stake holders is another challenge for Nepal. Using this backdrop, this chapter has tried to view the impacts caused by the continued use of victim-activated explosives, small arms and portable lethal weapons. 1. Victim Activated Explosion In this chapter, a civilian casualty of a victim-activated explosion includes those injured or killed by an improvised explosive devices-IED, by unexploded/abandoned Ordinances - UXO/AO, and by anti personal mines, which have usually been manually placed or used and are designed to injure, kill or terrorize. It also covers unexploded, abandoned and stored IEDs, as well as civilians who have been injured or killed when they activated an Explosive Device (ED) unknowingly, or without the intention to harm, hurt or terrorize. Furthermore, it includes civilians who were close to an ED which was activated by an animal or by natural causes (i.e. lightning, heat, land-slide etc.) or who were close to other people who activated the ED (i.e. bystanders). Likewise it includes, civilian bystanders affected by explosions due to the manufacturing, transportation or storage of EDs, and civilians who were forced by the Security Forces - or non-state actors - to defuse or remove EDs.5 INSEC’s Victim-Activated Explosion, small arms and portable lethal weapons surveillance system (VAE SPLWS) recorded that there were a total of 293 casualties in 128 incidents caused by a victim activated explosion after the signing of the CPA in Nepal to date – i.e. from 21 November 2006 to December

Figure 1 : Incidents & Casualties in VAE
(November 21, 2006-2010)
104 Incident 70 Casualty

78 73


42 24

41 22

2 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

2010. In 2006, there were 169 casualties in 98 incidents of victim activated explosions; five casualties were identified from two victim-activated explosions during the period of November 21- December 2006. The number of casualties decreased to 104 in 42 incidents in 2007. By the year 2008, the number of casualties had decreased to 73 in 38 incidents. There was also a decrease in the numbers observed in 2009, when 70 persons became victims in 24 victimactivated explosions. In the same way, the numbers were seen to further decrease in 2010, where 41 people were injured by 22 incidents. (See figure1), Looking at the INSEC Surveillance system it can be seen that although there has been a decrease in both the number of casualties and the incidents of victim activated explosion, the challenges and threats have not been completely overcome. In the period under review, from 2006 to 2010, INSEC’s VAE, small arms and portable lethal weapons surveillance system identified 72 deaths () from 224 VAE incidents. In 2006, there were 39 people killed in 98 incidents caused by improvised explosive devices (IED), mines and explosive devices (ID), and 2 people were killed in two incidents of VAE between

INSEC, Report on casualties of victim-activated explosions Nepal. Kathmandu, 2009, http://www.inseconline. org/pics/1262602365.pdf


ERW, Small and Portable Lethal Weapons : Threats and Challanges

Figure 2 : Incidents of Explosion & Casualties by Districts, 2010


6 5 4

3 2 1 1 2

3 2 1 1 2 11 11 1 2 1 2 22


11 11 11 11 11

the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord i.e November 21 and December 31, 2006. The total number of deaths caused by VAE decreased to 13 and 4 respectively in 2007 and 2008. Although the overall numbers of casualties and incidents has decreased in comparison to the previous years, sixteen people were killed in 2009, which was four times the death rate in 2008. Fortunately, there was not a single death caused by the 22 incidents of VAE in 2010. Despite the decrease in incidents and casualties caused by VAE, there is still a prevailing threat of VAE, which has not yet been solved by the ongoing peace process in Nepal. Out of the two deaths in 2006 that were identified after the signing of the CPA, one boy was killed in the Ramechap district as he was trying to pull the wires from an ED with his teeth. The device had been dropped near to his house by Maoist cadres prior to the incident. In the other incident, a Muslim girl was killed in the Morang district when she threw the ED onto the ground. The deceased worked as a rag picker and picked up the ED to take for metal to sell (scrap metal). Out of 13 deaths caused by VAE in 2007, nine people - three

children, one woman and five men, were killed during one incident in Dang, when villagers were trying to defuse a Bucket bomb. In addition, two boys were killed when they were handling EDs that they had found in a jungle while they were picking mushroom in an area which had been used as a firing range for the army. Two boys were also killed in Doti and Kalikot when they were playing with EDs at their homes. In 2008, two boys were killed in their homes while handling a socket bomb which had been kept in their house during the conflict by the cadres of UCPN-M.. A boy was killed when he was playing with a socket bomb at his house; police also recovered another unexploded socket bomb from the same incident site. A woman was killed in the premises of the Army Barrack in Rolpa district when she stepped on a mine while cutting grass. In 2009, out of 16 deaths caused by VAE, two persons, a woman and a man, were killed after they stepped on a mine while entering the premises of the security forces for the purpose of collecting grass and wood in the Rolpa and Dang Districts respectively, even though the perimeter was marked as a ‘prohibited zone’ . Moreover, two children and one man
Nepal Human Rights Yearbook 2011


Figure 3 : Places of Incidents and Casualties, 2010
Near to insdustrial area Near security camp Jungle Public place/bazar Government office Agricultural land Home


2 2 2 2 2 4 2 5 6 7 9 9




were killed in the Kailali district when the victims were handling a hand grenade that was found near the village. One man was killed by an explosive device which had been placed near his home, the explosion occurred when everyone was asleep. One agricultural labor was killed when the tiffin bomb which he found in a paddy field while harvesting rice in Parsa district, exploded. Three people were killed in Chitwan when a boy was rubbing a mortar against a log near to his house. The seven year old boy had brought the mortar to his home after he had found the unexploded weapon at a nearby Armed Police Force Battalion. Two boys were killed in the jungle of Gulmi district; they had found a round object in between two stones when they had gone to graze some goats. The object exploded when they were pulling it out from between the stones. Likewise, a person was killed in the courtyard of their homes in the Sarlahi, Pyuthan and Baitadi districts, and a boy was killed near to a school in the Bajhang district when he tried to open a plastic bag which an ED was wrapped in. During the four-year-period under discussion (2006-2010), there were 72 people killed, of these 50 were male and 22 were female. Out of total deaths, it was recorded that there were 33 students, 27 Farmers, 5 labors and two employed persons and five unemployed persons killed. Based on their Educational Levels,

48 of these people were literate and the rest were illiterate. Forty-one children were killed during the period, 19 persons aged between 19 and 39 were killed, as were 12 persons aged between 40 and 59. Most of the deceased, i.e. 36, were categorized as being in the lowest economic condition (up to 3 months surplus for hand to mouth), 31 were belonging to the lower class (up to six months surplus grain) and 5 belonged to the middle class (up to 12 month surplus for hand to mouth). Thus it can be seen that poor people are more at risk of being killed by VAEs. Nepal is divided into geographic three belts, the Mountain, the Hill and the Tarai. Out of total deaths caused by VAE from 2006 to 2010, 48, 21 and three persons were killed in the Hill, Tarai and Mountain regions respectively. In 2006, 18 people were killed in the Hill and 18 in the Tarai-Madhes regions, but in 2007 all the13 people killed were from the Hilly region (Palpa nine, Nuwakot two, Doti one, and Kalikot 1). Additonally, in 2008, 3 people were killed in the Mountain regions and 1 was killed in the Tarai. The casualty trend was reversed in 2009 with nine and seven

Figure 4 : Type of Explosive Device & Casualties, 2010
1 1 3





ERW, Small and Portable Lethal Weapons : Threats and Challanges

Figur 5 : Causes of Explosion, 2010

9 8

4 2 2


casualties in three of the districts ( Jumla, people being killed in the Tarai-Madhes and Dolpa and Humla) of the Mountain region. Hilly regions respectively. INSEC’s VAE, Within 12 months of 2010, the SAPlW surveillance system recorded that most affected districts were there were 13 incidents caused by Table : 1 located in the southern part of VAEs in the Hill Region and five Age the country– the Tarai-Madhes. in the Mountain region. From Casualties The Tarai has become the more immediately after the CPA in Group 1 dangerous place after the signing 2006 till 2008, there were more 0-4 casualties in the districts of the 5-18 19 of the CPA. There has been an hill region but from 2009, the 15-59 20 increase in new armed groups incidents of VAE is increasing 60+ 1 who have a veil of being political in the Tarai-Madhes. This is due Total 41 parties, these groups have tended to use IEDs while organizing to the instability caused by the violent activities such as extortion, rape, armed Tarai outfits that have abandoned kidnap and murder in the Tarai. Innocent and dropped EDs in public palaces with the people are caught by the EDs, which are aim of creating terror in the area. 1.1 Tarai-Madhes More Affected As based on the INSEC’s (VAE SAPLW) Surveillance System, there were 30 casualties in 13 incidents by VAE in nine districts of the Tarai-Madhes (Prasa, Sunsari, Saptari, Dang, Bara, Rautahat, Siraha, Banke and Makwanpur) out of the total 17 districts. Parsa district had the highest number of incidents (three) in which there were 6 casualties. Four incidents of VAE were identified in four of the districts (Gulmi, Myagdi, Baglung and Dailekh) of the Hill Region. Additionally, it was identified that there were three

Figure 6 : Casualties due to the SAPLW, 2010
December November October September August July June May April March February January 36 32 39 38 43 42 50 53 52 56 111 113

Nepal Human Rights Yearbook 2011


dropped or abandoned near to industrial and commercial areas and public places to terrorize the business persons and demand that they pay money to the groups. In such situations, innocent people and children will be the victims of EDs. Therefore, the Tarai plains must be prioritized for effective mine action programs: and the use of explosive devices and other arms by these Tarai groups must continue to be highlighted and strongly condemned in order to prevent the high number of VAE related casualties

Figure 7 : Casualties die to SAplW, 2010


478 Injured Killed

1.2 More Incidents In Settlement Areas As shown in figure 3, the highest number of incidents (nine casualties in six incidents) occurred in civilian’s homes. It has been observed that civilians, especially children, often bring explosive devices from the surrounding area to their homes, where they then start tampering or playing with the device. Children, by their nature, are curious about new things and they will try to handle and play with EDs, mistaking them for toys. This is the main causes of deaths and injuries by VAEs. It is particularly worrying that the presumed safe haven of the home has become the most frequent setting for victim-activated explosions.

Similarly, the second highest incident of VAE occurred in public places, where 10 persons were injured in four incidents. Likewise, nine people were injured in six incidents after they had been handling the EDs that had been found in agricultural fields. These incidences have occurred as a result of armed groups, who have been mobilizing in the Tarai-Madhes belt of the southern part of Nepal, abandoning the EDs. As the remnants of EDs and mines were used by both the conflicting parties during the decade long violent conflict, there is also a threat posed to civilians, especially in the Hill and Mountain regions of Nepal. 1.3 Children Most Vulnearable Among the 41 fatalities in the 22 victim-activated explosions in 2010, children accounted for 49% (20). This figure was 54 % (39) and 64% (46) in 2008 and 2009 respectively. It was also found that there were 21 persons (seven women) injured by VAE in 2010. In Nepal, many women fall victim to EDs while they are collecting wood, food or fodder, or cutting the grass within the perimeter of Security Force bases. Figure 4 below details the ages of all casualties resulting from VAE. It highlights that these explosive devices are indiscriminate, in that they injure people from all age groups, particularly those who are unaware of the threats that

Figure 8 : Casualties on the Basis of Sex & Age, 2006-2010

118 46 15






ERW, Small and Portable Lethal Weapons : Threats and Challanges

Figure 9 : Casualties by SAplW by Districts, 2010


18 7


26 2 7 13

27 13 1 8 11 5 13

they pose. However, the graph clearly identifies the most affected age group in the aforementioned period, are those children aged between 10 - 14 years. This is followed by people aged between 25 between 30 and then between 5 and 9 years. Young boys from these age groups appear most at risk, accounting for 49% of all casualties, while girls from this age group account for 29.5% (8). Thus, it can be seen that children are particularly vulnerable to VAEs. The majority of child casualties resulted from children handling and tampering with the explosive device or intentionally striking and throwing the device to satisfy their curiosity. In addition, children are responsible for tending cattle and sheep in many societies. They often follow their livestock into new areas in search of new grazing land and thus come across VAEs.

figure 6. While most of the bomb were known to be used by the Maoists during the conflict, nowadays these bombs are known to be used by Tarai armed groups. One incident involving mines in the Mid-Western region, 37 where a civilian stepped on 16 mine near a Security Force 5 4 base. The largest number of casualties – 14 (33%), out of the total 41 casualties in 22 incidents, were as a result of the victim playing with an ED, which had been dropped or abandoned during the conflict or by the armed groups in the Tarai Belt. The second highest number of casualties resulted from the handling and Tampering of the explosive device (nine persons). Eight of these casualties occurred while the victim was watching or walking near by the persons who were handling the EDs. Four police officers were injured inside the district police office, while cleaning the store room in Dang district. Two persons were injured by explosive devices that were intentionally exploded. See figure 5. Therefore, to minimize the incidents of VAE, efforts need to be made to stop the armed groups in Tarai using IEDs to achieve their aims. At the same time, the removal and destruction of those abandoned

1.4 Types of Explosive Devices And Casualties As based on the INSEC’s VAE, small arms and portable lethal weapons surveillance system, 36 (89%) casualties resulted from an explosion of Improvised Explosive Devices and two persons (2%) were injured when mines exploded, (2%) were injured by other Eds, whereas five (7%) casualties were as a result of unidentified EDs. Out of the 36 casualties, 24 persons were injured by sutali bombs (IED), see

Figure 10 : Casualties by Place. 2010
66 122 6 226

Home Farm/Jungle Road/Path Other Public places

Nepal Human Rights Yearbook 2011


Figure 11 : Causes of Attack, 2010
400 342 350







76 56 42 20 15


0 Personal disputes Domestic violence Political attack Robbery/theft Professional Disputes Gang Violence Kidnapping

and stored IEDs, from the conflict period, must also continue to be prioritized. Similarly, efforts should be made for mine risk education among children because they are naturally more curious and have less knowledge of the risks involved with handling EDs and are thus more vulnerable than adults to the dangers these devices pose. 2. Small Arms and Portable Lethal Weapons (Saplw) Armed violence corrodes all sectors of a society. Armed violence also has a rippling effect throughout the society, creating a climate of fear, distorting investment, disrupting markets, and closing schools, clinics and roads. Armed violence, while affecting all people, affects certain groups and regions disproportionately. It is the fourth leading cause of death of persons between the ages of 15 and 44 worldwide.6 The widespread use of Small Arms and portable lethal Weapons (SAplW) has existed for a long time in Nepal and was exacerbated during the 10-year long conflict. The end of the war does not guarantee the establishment or return of security in the affected areas. Even after the signing of the CPA, Nepal is facing

a serious challenge of armed violence caused by the illicit use of small arms and portable lethal weapons. The illegal use of SAplW destroys lives and livelihood, breeds insecurity, fear and terror, increases gender based violence and ultimately hampers the ongoing peace process in Nepal.7 Prior to assesing the impact caused by the incidents of SAplW in 2010, the definition of small arms and portable lethal weapons will be reviewed. As mentioned in the Arms and Ammunition Act, 1962, “Arms” include the rifle gun, pistol, revolver, mining and grenade, their parts and the machinery which manufactures such arms. “Machine Gun” includes brenguns, luis guns, station machine carbines, tomson machine carbines and other similar automatic weapons and their parts, the vehicles to be used for transporting and mounting such machine
35 unknown

Figure 12 : Weopons Used in Attack, 2010

163 109 40 38

6. 7.

Global Burden of Armed Violence, Geneva Declaration Secretariat; ISBN 978-2-8388-0101-4 Nepal Working Groups n Small Arms and Other Portable Lethal Weapons Terms of Reference, Kathmandu,


ERW, Small and Portable Lethal Weapons : Threats and Challanges

gun and the machinery which manufactures such machine guns. “Ammunition” includes fugsignal fuses (Dhumika Sanket), gun powder, caps, the ball of a gun, shells, detonators, cartridges, as well as similar types of explosives and other ammunitions.8 SAplW is defined as small arms and means any lethal weapon that is transported or carried by a person, and that expels or launches, is designed to expel or launch, or may be readily converted to expel or launch a shot, bullet or projectile by the action of an explosive, excluding antique or replica small arms and light weapons. The Act also says that small arms are, broadly speaking, weapons designed for individual use. They are relative cheap, easily portable and concealable and, in most cases, require minimal maintenance and logistical support and can therefore be operated relatively easily. They include, inter allia, revolvers and self-loading pistols, rifles and carbines, sub-machine guns, assault rifles and light machine guns. Other portable lethal weapons are understood to be weapons that have been designed for individual use. They include, inter alia, knifes, swords, khukuris and small IEDs. 9 According to INSEC’s VAE, SAplW Surveillance System, there were 670 casualties including 192 deaths from 485 incidents involving SAplW in 2010. The highest number of casualties was recorded in September number 113 and was followed by that in October which was 112. On average, there were 55.5 casualties in each month of the period. See fig 7 and 8 for details. 2.1 Vulnearable Child And Women Armed violence affects women, men, girls and boys in different ways, as both the perpetrators and the targets of

armed violence. Across cultures, most acts of violence are committed by men, and men and boys also account for the majority of fire arms-related deaths and injuries.10 In Nepal, of the 670 casualties resulting from 485 incidents by the illicit use of SAplW during the 12 months of 2010, 491 men were the victims. Nine percent of the victims were children (61) and 18% (118) have been reported , in addition 41 women including five girls were killed. In most of the cases, women have often been the victims of domestic violence carried out using SAplW. See figure 9. 2.1 Tarai Madhes More Affected INSEC’s surveillance system has recorded armed violence in spread in 58 of the districts in Nepal but severely affects many of the Tarai-Madhes districts. According to INSEC’s VAE, SAplW Surveillance System, it has recorded that 55% (369) of the total number of 670 casualties were documented in the 20 districts of the Tarai-Madhes, whereas only 45% (301) of the cases were identified in the districts of the hill and mountain regions. It is found that all the districts of the Tarai-Madhes belt i.e. Jhapa, Morang, Saptari, Siraha, Dhanusa, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilbastu, Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur, were affected by incidents involving SAplW. The highest number of casualties was recorded in Morang (119) and followed by Surkhet (73 cases), which is a hill district. Additionally, the third highest number of casualties (37) was recorded in the Banke district. In the same way, Bara and Dhanusa accounted for 27 and 26 casualties

8. Arms and Ammunition Act,2019 (1962) 9. Nepal working Group on Small Arms and Other Portable Lethal Weapons, Terms of Reference 10. Global Burden of Armed Violence, Geneva Declaration Secretariat, Geneva, 2008

Nepal Human Rights Yearbook 2011


respectively, whereas 21 casualties was found in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Based on the documentation in the VAE, SAplW Surveillance system, 111 and 81 persons were killed in the districts of the Tarai-Madhes and the Hill and Mountain regions respectively. This indicates an extensive use of SAplWs by armed groups in these regions. See fig 10. It has been said by the security authorities of Nepal that the government of Nepal has not been able to control, as required, the illicit use of SAplW weapons by the secessionist and armed groups in the Tarai-Madhes belt.11 Furthermore, the instability and armed violence in the TaraiMadhes districts are due to the proliferation of SAplWs which are easily available in the southern part of Nepal, due in part to the porous boarder it shares with India. 2.2 Small Arms And Portable Lethal Casualties By Setting The home is usually considered the safest place for human beings. Contrary to this assumption, the home has also become one of the most insecure places for humankind. It was reported that 226 casualties were reported to have occurred inside the home. Roads and paths have also become one of the most dangerous places as 250 people were injured and killed from incidents involving SAplWs in such places in Nepal. People were attacked with SAplWs while they were walking or traveling to meet their needs. Additionally, the surveillance system recorded 122 incidents caused by the use of SAplWs in public places (hotel, temple, Market etc.). See figure11. 2.3 Motivation Behind Attack The main motivation behind attacks was personal disputes. It was recorded

that 342 cases of casualties were as a result of personal disputes. The second highest number of casualties (84) was recorded as being a result of domestic violence; women and girls are often the victims of domestic violence which is perpetrated using SAplWs. This indicates a prevalence of gender based violence and continued discrimination against women. See figure 12. 2.4 Types of Weapons Causing Incidents Figure 12 shows that the highest number of casualties (320) was caused by khukuri/Knives. While other weapons, including swords, sharp rods etc accounted for 163 casualties. The third highest number of casualties (109) and (40) was caused by the illicit use of fire arms and IEDs respectively. This indicates that to control the prevailing instability that has resulted from lawlessness; an effective criminal justice response to armed violence is an important element in reducing the illicit use of SAplWs. 3. Persistent Threat Although there has been a decrease in the number of incidents and casualties of victim-activated explosions during the period from 2006-2010, the effects of the explosives remnants of war and UXO are still posing problems in Nepal. The widespread use of EDs and small arms was exacerbated during the ten-year conflict. At that time both conflicting parties used IEDs, mines and small arms in a large scale. The remnants of the war are still a problem even after the formal end of war, which was achieved by the signing of the CPA by both conflicting parties in 2006. It has been said that the end of war does not necessarily herald a return to security.12 Even after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace

11. Surakshya Sudharko Lagi Sahi Bato Samatieko Chaa? Interdisciplinary Analyst and Safer world , Kathmandu, Nepal, 2065 12. Global Burden of Armed Violence, Geneva Declaration ‘secretariat, 2008


ERW, Small and Portable Lethal Weapons : Threats and Challanges

Accord (CPA) by the Government of Nepal and the CPN (Maoist) in November 2006, and despite the ‘Agreement on the Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies’ (AMMAA), which marked a clear commitment by both sides to ensure a safe environment for Nepali citizens, free from the threat of Landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), INSEC’s VAE and SAplW Surveillance System recorded that there were 41 casualties from 22 incidents of VAE and mines in Nepal. Civilians, usually children, while walking on the road/path, working in the filed or tending cattle and collecting grass, have found the EDs and by virtue of their curious nature have examined and played with the devices, which has led to them being involved in the aforementioned incidents. As a result, even now the members of society still fear the explosion of the remnants of war. According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmine, it is estimated that 3.25 Sq km areas are still covered with mines and EDs in Nepal.13 Despite the clearance of mine fields and EDs by the Nepal Army with support from UNMIN, the total achievement of their objectives has not yet been met.. Only five out of 53 mine fields were cleaned in 2008. The Nepal Army had only been able to clear 12 minefields in 2009. At the end of the 2010, the Nepali Army has cleared 18 mine fields and 18 minefields still remained to be cleared.14 It is also reported that during the clearance of these mine fields over the three years, the Nepal Army destroyed 5,950 anti-personnel mines. In addition to these, 28,273 EDs were also destroyed in seven Maoist Cantonments.15

The Unexploded Remnants of war, including Mine, EDs and IEDs, are still found by civilians, thus the abandoned devices still pose a threat to the people of Nepal. In addition to this, instability in the Tarai-Madhes, along with the proliferation of secessionist and criminal armed groups, not only aids in the deteriorating security environment but also directly challenges the progress and success of the peace process in Nepal. The illicit used of small arms and portable weapons is a main security According to challenge for Nepal.16 INSEC’s VAE, SAplWs Surveillance System, there were 670 casualties from 485 incidents involving the use of SAplWs, in which 192 persons were killed in 2010. More people of the Tarai-Madhes belt were affected by the illegitimate use of SAplW than in other regions. Out of the 670 casualties, 262 were farmers, 113 were students, 104 were employees, 71 were business persons, 60 were unemployed, 30 were politicians, 4 were minors and 26 were unknown persons, these people were the victims of 485 incidents in 2010. The main causes of casualties (320 persons) were attacks by khukuri and knives and followed by attacks by swords and sharp knives (163) and fire arms (109). Additionally 40 persons were victimized by explosive devices, and there were 38 casualties where the type of weapon used could not be be identified. According to the Nepal Police, 614 men and four women were arrested under the ‘Arms and Ammunition Act, 1962” and charged with being involved in 417 criminal activities. Furthermore, 70 pistols, 8 revolver, 28 rifles, 202 home pistols and 67 home made guns, including 654 bullets, were confiscated.17

13. International Campaign to Band Land Mine; publications/ display?act=submit&pqs_ year =2009&pqs_type=lm&pqs_report=nepal 14. Nepal Army : Humanitarian Demining Operation; 15. 16. Presentation by SSP Ramesh Phunyal-Nepal Police in SA&plW meeting, Kathmandu, 2010 17. Presentation by SSP Ramesh Phunyal-Nepal Police in SA&plW meeting, Kathmandu, 2010

Nepal Human Rights Yearbook 2011


4. Conclusion In spite of the progress achieved by Nepal through demining and IED disposal activities, the recurrence of victim-activated explosions and the increase of the illegal use of SAplWs, especially in the TaraiMadhes where there has been a growth of secessionist outfits, are serious challenges to the fragile peace process in Nepal. It has also impacted on the situation of Human Rights. Since the signing of the CPA and the end of hostilities, a number of factors have contributed to the new breeding ground for armed violence in Nepal, this includes:18 Instability in the Tarai-Madhes, with the proliferation of secessionist and criminal armed groups Proliferation of Small Arms and other Portable Lethal Weapons among which a large part consists of illicit homemade firearms and small Improvised Explosives Devices Lawlessness and a culture of impunity Deteriorating security environment, particularly for woman and children Weak state presence in a number of volatile areas Slow progress on the security sector transformation Porous boarder between India and Nepal Presence of explosive remnants of war from the decade-long conflict Poverty, unemployment and discrimination among youth Increase in gender based violence and the continued discrimination against women A post-conflict period is generally considered to be fertile ground for breeding criminal activities.. It can be asserted that as Nepal is passing through a transition period, it is essential that there be effective co-

ordination among the organs of the state, especially among security organizations, to cope with the prevailing situation. 5. Recommendation The following steps should be undertaken for the reduction of the incidents of victim-activated explosion, small arms and portable lethal weapons Accede to the main international instruments, such as the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and the Ottawa Treaty, both of which address the issue of explosive devices Expedite the demining process. There should be effective implementation of Mine Risk Education Provide support to the victims of explosions The UCPNM-Maoists should inform the Nepal Government about which houses they captured and their stockpiles of EDs, and should support the government with the clearance of EDs. The security situation in the TaraiMadhes belt should be upgraded and the presence of the state agencies in the remote areas of the region should be improved. The law should be enforced against the illegal manufacture, trade and carrying of arm without license, of small arms and portable lethal weapons. The prevailing penalty system should be strongly used against the perpetrators. Enhance coordination among the mechanisms of the government to discourage the trade on Small arms and EDs. To bring armed groups in the due process of law. Enhance awareness against the uses of and risks of carrying EDs, small arms and portable lethal weapons

18. Nepal Working Group on Small Arms and Other Portable Lethal Weapons-Terms of References


ERW, Small and Portable Lethal Weapons : Threats and Challanges