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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
02KATHMANDU717 2002-04-11 12:56:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

WFP RECEIVES THREAT, HAS FOOD SHIPMENT HIJACKED

Tags:   PTER PREF ASEC CASC NP 
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1. (SBU) On April 11 the head of security for the UN system
in Nepal reported that a World Food Program (WFP) office in
Dhamak, Jhapa, in eastern Nepal had a threatening notice,
signed by purported Maoists, posted on its door that morning.
The translated text of the message follows below:

Begin text:

Notice:

Foreign agents (in the form of INGOs) that have entered Nepal
with malicious intentions of making Nepal and Nepalese people
corrupt and slaves have been targeted for destruction.
Therefore, the house owners are warned not to lease their
houses to such organizations. Otherwise, responsibility for
any destruction of the property that may take place at any
time will go to the owner of the house himself.

Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

End text of message.



2. (SBU) According to the UNDP in Nepal, local offices of
UNHCR, Lutheran World Services, and Caritas in Jhapa received
a similar notice. (Note: All of the organizations
threatened are active in assisting the over 100,000 Bhutanese
refugees in seven camps in eastern Nepal. End note.)
Embassy contacted other embassies April 11; none reported
that their aid agencies or projects had received similar
threats. The security officer at the British Embassy
speculated the note may be the work of a local Maoist
commander, rather than reflective of a new policy from the
center to harass INGOs.



3. (SBU) WFP Deputy Country Director John Prout confirmed
to A/DCM that on April 10 a regularly scheduled delivery of
WFP Food for Work grain and cooking oil--13.1 metric tons in
all--was hijacked, presumably by Maoists, in Bajura District
in northwestern Nepal. Prout reported that the food was
offloaded from government vehicles belonging to the Ministry
of Local Development and transferred to waiting porters to be
carried away on foot. No one was hurt and none of the
vehicles were damaged. Since the shipment and vehicles did
not bear a WFP logo, Prout said he did not consider the
hijacking an attack on the organization itself.



4. (SBU) Comment: In the apparent absence of threats to
INGOs in other parts of the country, we are somewhat inclined
to agree with our British colleague and view the Jhapa
warning as the inspiration of a local commander. The
hijacking of the WFP shipment in a remote section of western
Nepal, on the other hand, was obviously well planned--it's
not easy to assemble that many porters on short notice--and
could indicate that military efforts to cut off food supplies
to the insurgents are working. We will continue to monitor
the situation and seek information from NGOs and aid agencies
in the field. An EAC meeting is planned for 8:30 a.m. on
April 12.
MALINOWSKI