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UN for probe into human rights 'abuse'

world Updated: Aug 29, 2009 10:49 IST

The Nepalese government should investigate the alleged human rights violations by its army during the decade-long Maoist insurgency in the country to make sure that the perpetrators are held accountable, a top UN official has said.

The views of the UN were conveyed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Representative in Nepal, Richard Bennett, during his meeting with the acting Chief of Army Staff Chhatra Man Singh Gurung.

Bennett expressed concerns about the lack of progress on accountability for serious human rights and international humanitarian law violations allegedly committed by the Nepalese Army during the conflict.

"He stressed that, until an independent and impartial vetting mechanism is put into place, the promotion, extension, or nomination for UN service of individuals against whom there are credible allegations of involvement in human rights violations should be suspended," UN spokesperson, Michele Montas, said.

Bennett also noted that recently personnel in positions of command responsibility during the time that violations were being committed at the barracks have been recommended for promotion or extension.

He suggested that a comprehensive vetting of both Nepal Army personnel and Maoist cadres be conducted as part of the peace process "to avoid such controversies in the future," according to a statement issued by OHCHR.

According to the UN, Gen Gurung said the Nepal Army would punish personnel proven guilty of human rights violations and would cooperate with "a properly constituted impartial and independent body," such as a commission of inquiry on disappearances, set up to investigate human rights violations which occurred during the conflict.

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