Louise Arbor, the UN high commissioner for human rights is visiting Nepal on 23 January to assess the human rights situation in the country. She is the first senior UN rights official to visit Nepal since the people's war started in 1997. Arbor is best known as the chief prosecutor for tribunals into the genocide in Rwanda and human rights abuses in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. She also indicted the former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes. In January 2004, she replaced Sergio Vieira de Mello, after he was killed, as the head of the UN operations in Iraq.
Another UN official, Samuel Tamrat special envoy to secretary general Kofi Annan, is in Kathmandu this week to study the political situation in the country. The UN has constantly offered its good offices as a go-between to initiate peace talks. The rebels are keen to take up the UN's offer but the government has rejected it outright saying that the conflict is an internal matter.
Arbor will make a firsthand assessment of the situation in Nepal during her four-day stay and meet senior officials of the government, judiciary and the military to discuss the state of human rights in the country, says a press release by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).