United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he is “alarmed” over obstruction and destruction of medical supplies to Nepal due to ongoing blockade of key border trade points with India as he called on all sides to lift these restrictions without further delay.
“He is alarmed by reports of the obstruction, and destruction, of life-saving medical supplies and the continued impact on humanitarian operations,” a statement issued by his spokesperson here yesterday said.
The Secretary-General has “underlined his growing concern over the blocking of essential supplies on the Nepal-India border”, it said.
The statement came on the day when Indian-origin Madhesi protesters in Nepal torched an ambulance and a truck carrying medicines worth over Rs2 million (Dh69,375) imported from India near the border, as sporadic violence returned to the Himalayan nation amid a political logjam over the new Constitution.
According to the statement, Ban has called on all sides to lift these restrictions without further delay and underlined Nepal’s right of free transit.
Ahead of planned protests on Saturday, the Secretary-General further stresses the importance of dialogue and non-violence, as well as respect for peaceful protest and the freedom of assembly.
“He urges all sides to resolve their differences in a peaceful and flexible manner and reiterates the support of the United Nations to Nepal’s efforts to build a democratic, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous future,” the statement said.
On Thursday, India said it was ready to facilitate rerouting of vehicles carrying drugs to the landlocked country and even airlifting medical supplies as Nepal reels under severe shortage of medicines and other essential goods due to blockade of key border trade points.
Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup reiterated that there has been “no blockade” by India and the problem was political in nature which has to be resolved by the Nepalese leadership through dialogue.(PTI)
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