With a harsh winter looming, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for lifting “obstructions” to essential supplies reaching Nepal.
“The Secretary-General underlines Nepal’s right of free transit, as a landlocked nation as well as for humanitarian reasons, and calls on all sides to lift the obstructions without further delay,” Ban’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters at the UN.
The carefully worded statement in response to questions from reporters avoided any mention of a blockade or a direct criticism of India.
“The Secretary-General indeed reiterates his concern over the obstruction of essential supplies on the Nepal-India border,” Dujarric said.
Adding a sense of urgency, he referred to problems caused by earthquake and the impending winter season.
“Acute shortages in fuel supplies continue to impede planned deliveries to earthquake-affected villages in Nepal,” he said. Humanitarian organizations urgently require fuel to maintain operations and deliver food, warm clothing and shelter materials to high altitude areas that will soon be cut off by harsh winter weather.”