Nepalese government asked to find hundreds of war missing

Nepalese government asked to find hundreds of war missing Kathmandu  - The Nepalese Supreme Court has ordered the government to investigate and make public the whereabouts of hundreds of people missing from the country's communist insurgency, officials said Friday.

The court order came in response to a petition filed by a local human rights organization that said many of the people had been missing for more than a decade.

The court ordered the government to search for 434 people, said Hemanta Rawal, court spokesman.

"It is the responsibility of the state to find out the status of missing people, and the government must provide information to the families of those missing," the Supreme Court directive said.

Nepal's National Human Rights Commission said nearly 1,000 people remain missing either after they were arrested by government forces or abducted by Maoists rebels during the decadelong insurgency.

Both the state security forces and the Maoists were accused of widespread human rights violations, including torture, rape and killings during the conflict.

The Maoists, fighting to topple the monarchy and establish a communist republic, formally gave up violence after signing a peace agreement with the Nepalese government in November 2006.

The agreement also required the government to form a commission to investigate the disappearances. However, a dispute between Nepal's political parties have prevented the formation of such a commission.

The Maoists now lead Nepal's coalition government after becoming the single largest party in the Constituent Assembly after elections nearly a year ago. dpa