Richard Bennett met Gurung

KATHMANDU: The Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal, Richard Bennett, today met with the acting Chief of Army Staff Chhatra Man Singh Gurung at the latter's Office. The Representative congratulated General Gurung on his appointment and noted the important contribution that the Nepal Army (NA) has made to UN peacekeeping missions.

The Representative, in the meeting reiterated OHCHR's concern about the lack of progress and accountability as well as serious human rights and international humanitarian law violations committed by the NA during the conflict.

In a press release issued here by the OHCHR Nepal, General Gurung and the Representative discussed the concerns raised in a recent letter from OHCHR to the Prime Minister about the Government's failure to properly investigate cases of arbitrary detention, torture and disappearances occurring at the Army's Maharajgunj Barracks in 2003 and 2004. The Representative also raised other allegations of serious human rights violations involving NA personnel in the disappearances in Bardiya district and the murder of Maina Sunuwar.

General Gurung made a commitment that the NA would punish military 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.