UN rights chief calls for respect for international law in Nepal

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile; JURIST news archive] on Thursday called for the full respect for international humanitarian and human rights law [press release] in the ongoing conflict in Nepal [JURIST news archive]. Last month, Arbour warned [JURIST report] that Nepal could face a full-scale armed conflict if the government failed to extend a ceasefire with Maoist rebels [BBC backgrounder], and her most recent comments follow the end of a four-month unilateral ceasefire [BBC report] by the Maoists. Arbour said that because Nepal is a party to the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials] and several international human rights treaties, it must uphold its legal obligations and abide by international human rights laws. She also reminded the Maoists that international laws prohibit violence against civilians and offer special protection for children. Despite these legal obligations, Arbour went on to say that during this conflict "both parties have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law." The UN High Commissioner pledged that the OHCHR office [official website] in Nepal will be monitoring the situation and making regular reports to the Commission on Human Rights [official website]. Nepal News has more.

 

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