Nicaragua plans to expel UN team

Published on Friday, 31 August 2018 19:59
Written by The Associated Press

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) - The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is expelling a United Nations human rights team two days after the body published a critical report blaming it for the violent repression of opposition protests.

Guillermo Fernandez Maldonado, chief of the U.N.’s human rights mission in Nicaragua, said Friday that he and his team were leaving the country.

“We are suspending any planned activity,” he said.

In a statement, the U.N. human rights regional office for Central America said that it had received a letter Thursday from the foreign ministry notifying it that the government’s invitation was over.

“The letter indicates that said invitation was extended with the purpose of accompanying the Verification and Monitoring Commission and that with the reasons, causes and conditions finished that spurred said invitation, the invitation is considered concluded,” according to the statement.

The U.N. statement said the team will continue monitoring and reporting on the situation remotely.

It was a rough day for the U.N. in Central America.

While the human rights mission was preparing to leave Nicaragua on Friday, military vehicles surrounded the U.N.-backed anti-corruption mission headquarters in Guatemala’s capital. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is facing an attempt to strip his immunity so he can be investigated for illicit campaign financing.

The U.N. Security Council will discuss the situation in Nicaragua on Sept. 5.

The report released Wednesday by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights described repression in the country that stretched from the streets to courtrooms, where some protesters face terrorism charges.

More than 300 people have been killed since popular protests began in mid-April triggered by cuts to the social security system. Ortega reversed the cuts, but demonstrations quickly expanded and turned into a call for him to step down.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Nation-World on Friday, 31 August 2018 19:59. Updated: Friday, 31 August 2018 20:02.