You are here

Nepali Greens urge stand against inhumane blockade

Farmland and forest in Nepal
Farmland and forest in Nepal

Following the promulgation of Nepal's new constitution in September, India imposed a border blockade against Nepal. The blockade has lasted more than a month but the Indian government has so far refused to acknowledge it, instead blaming ongoing demonstrations in the Terai for its failure to clear customs for fuel and other imports.

The unofficial border blockade by India has hit the business sector hard. Many industries across the county are on the verge of closure while there is an acute shortage of petroleum products and other essentials in the market.  The fuel shortages as a result of the blockade are also having an impact on tourism, causing further damage to the economy of the country and the livelihoods of many. The United States has advised its citizens to reconsider their travel plans to Nepal due to the ongoing protest in Terai region and shortage of fuel and other essentials due to a "marked reduction of importation" at the border with India. The blockade is an inhumane action as Nepali people are being deprived of their right to live due to the shortage of medicines. Most pharmacies inside the hospitals and outside have an acute scarcity of life-saving drugs. These mostly consist of medicines needed in Intensive Care Units including medicines required for anaesthesia. The shortage of medicines poses a risk to the lives of the people who are sick.

Additionally, Nepal faces an increased risk of environmental crisis and destruction. People have started using more firewood for cooking as an alternative to fuel. Nepal's community forests could be under threat from a rise in demand for firewood because of the fuel crisis. People will have no choice but to cut down trees and forests because they need fuel to cook food and survive.

The obvious effects of a blockade have resulted in a humanitarian crisis. Hence, modern international law takes blockade as a crime against humanity and as a war crime. It is because blockade is a tool of war and any illegal blockade constitutes a war crime. Article 7(k) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) considers any inhumane act or act of similar character that causes great suffering as a crime against humanity.

It is deeply saddening that India has imposed a blockade on Nepal even as the country is still recovering from the shock of the devastating April earthquake. Therefore, Nepali Greens would like to call upon Global Greens and its federations to speak up against the inhumane blockade and take initiatives to resolve the issue through global green diplomacy.

Statement by the Nepali Greens

Farmland and forest in Nepal

Global Green Federations

Get Involved

Social Networks