UN rights watchdog to end mission in Nepal

The UN rights watchdog OHCHR will end its mission in Nepal amid fears that war crimes accused may get away scot-free.

Updated: Dec 12, 2011, 22:27 PM IST

Kathmandu: The UN rights watchdog OHCHR will
end its mission in Nepal amid fears of that those accused of
committing war crimes during the decade-long Maoist-led
insurgency may get away scot-free.

"Nepal government has decided that the presence of United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights-Nepal (OHCHR) is no
longer needed and decided not to extend the mandate," said
Chun Bahadur Gurung, communication officer of the UN rights

The extended tenure of the OHCHR-Nepal, which was set up
six years ago, ended last week.

Nepal`s main opposition Nepali Congress party has
underlined the need for the UN watchdog to continue its
operation to ensure protection of human rights in the country.

In a joint statement, Human Rights Watch and the
International Commission of Jurists have said that the OHCHR
was needed to implement human rights commitments made by the
political parties and the government in the past.

Under the agreement signed among the Maoists and other
political parties, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission is to
be set up to investigate war crimes committed by the former
rebels and the military during the insurgency, which ended in

The rights groups have expressed concerns over delays in
setting up the commission.

They underlined the need for "OHCHR`s expert assistance
to help ensure that Nepal complies with its international
human rights obligations."

More than 16,000 people were killed and thousands were
displaced during the decade-long Maoist-led civil war that
ended in 2006.

Since the landmark peace accord in 2006, the Maoists have
joined mainstream politics and are leading a coalition for the
second time after the ultra-left party emerged as the single
largest party in the 2008 Constituent Assembly polls.