UN rights body to leave Nepal despite concerns
The United Nations said yesterday its rights watchdog is to leave Nepal at the request of the government, sparking fears that war crimes committed during a 10-year insurgency could go unpunished.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) was set up in Nepal six years ago during the brutal conflict, but the period for which it had been granted permission to stay ended last week.
"Any OHCHR country office comes by an invitation of the host country. Nepal decided that the presence of OHCHR-Nepal is no longer needed and decided not to extend the mandate," Chun Gurung, a spokesman for the rights body, told AFP.
Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists said in a joint statement that the OHCHR was needed to drive through human rights commitments made in the peace deal signed in November 2007.