In Nepal since the dismissal of the elected government in 2002, the king has appointed three interim governments. Sher Bahadur Deuba, a former prime minister, was reinstated on 2 June 2004. However due to the ongoing insurgency led by the Moaists, and the inability to form a political consensus, it has become impossible to establish a parliament. Prime Minister Deuba was forced to resign in February 2005 with the King Gyanendra seizing absolute control of the government, ostensibly to combat the Maoist rebellion. Sher Bahadur Deube was convicted over charges of corruption by a Royal Commission and has been imprisoned for two years. The charges brought against the former prime minister and his conviction at the hands of a Commission appointed by the king has been heavily criticized as a major setback to democracy and rule of law.

The continuing Maoist insurgency has led to an increase in the number of political disappearances in Nepal. According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, at present Nepal has the highest number of disappearances anywhere in the world. The Maoist insurgency has a hugely negative impact at all levels, including schooling and higher education. Amidst the civil and political unrest, women (from all communities) have suffered from discrimination, victimization and degradation. In addition, and as discussed below, Nepal continues to suffer from long-standing refugee problems. There has been no durable solution to, or improvement in the plight of, over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. During 2005, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees intends to withdraw support for the refugees – this would leave these refugees vulnerable to further abuse and continuing statelessness.

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