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Fact Check: No, UN Chief Guterres Didn’t Make Any Reference To The People Killed During The Maoist Conflict

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Claim
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ became frantic when UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the 17,000 people who perished during the Maoist conflict should get justice.
Fact
Secretary General Guterres only stressed that transitional justice has the greatest chance of success when it is inclusive, and has victims at its heart.

A viral video claiming that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ became anxious after UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that 17,000 people perished during the decade long Maoists conflict should get justice is going viral on TikTok.

The UN Secretary General, who arrived here on a four-day visit to Nepal, addressed a joint session of Parliament on Tuesday (October 31).

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @yagyastha55_official posted a video showing Guterres addressing the joint session of parliament. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Guterres delivered a sincere speech at Nepal’s Parliament. Pushpa Kamal Dahal [Nepal’s Prime Minister] turned anxious after Guterres said the 17,000 people killed in the conflict should get justice.”  

The video posted on October 31 has garnered 4362 likes, 113 users have shared and 62 people have commented on it until the last count.The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Nepal’s decade-long Maoist conflict
An estimated 17000 people including rebels, security forces and civilians lost their lives during the decade-long Maoists armed conflict led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ that ended in 2006 after signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker began by looking up UN Secretary General Guterres’ full address to the joint parliament of Nepal, posted on the United Nations website. On watching the full address of Guterres, we found that he spoke about the impact of climate change on the Himalayas, global conflicts and Nepal’s transitional justice process.

Guterres described Nepal as “a promoter of peace, a champion of multilateralism, and a staunch supporter of sustainable development and climate action.” Speaking about Nepal’s transitional justice process, he said it must be “inclusive [and] comprehensive with victims, truth and justice at its heart, while truth and reparations are important, justice is also an inevitable part of the process.” However, the UN Secretary General didn’t say anything about the number of people killed during the conflict.

Further, we checked several news reports about the UN Secretary General Secretary’s speech and found an article published in the Nepali times noting that victims of armed conflict and the civil society stage protest against what they term the government attempts to sabotage the transitional justice process while Guterres addressed Nepal’s parliament.

Thus, our findings show that UN Chief Guterres didn’t mention the number of people perished in the decade-long Maoist conflict in Nepal while addressing a joint parliament meeting of Nepal.

Conclusion

No, UN Chief Guterres didn’t utter anything in his address that made Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ anxious. The viral video is misleading.

Result: False

Sources
United Nations, October 31, 2023
Nepali Times ,October 31, 2023
My Republica, October 31, 2023


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

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