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Nepal to probe abuses during civil war

world Updated: Jul 28, 2007 03:22 IST

Agencies
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Nepal has started setting up a South Africa-style truth commission to tackle rights abuses during a bloody civil war, officials said, as the UN warned offenders could go unpunished.

The rights panel, which will allow those behind atrocities to confess without fear of punishment, was part of a deal last year between the government and Maoist insurgents to end the decade-long war that killed thousands.

“The commission will not be a body for prosecution,” said Madhu Prasad Regmi, one of the officials drawing up legislation that was presented to the government this week.

“It will only record the past misdeeds of human rights abuses by the Maoists and the state authorities during the conflict,” he said.

“It will then be up to the government to decide what kind of action may or may not be taken.”

Both the Maoists and government security services committed serious human rights abuses during the war, including disappearances, rape and torture.