October 16, 2021

UN chief condemns violence against civilian protesters in Nicaragua

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From Caribbean News Now

NEW YORK, USA — United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday deplored and condemned the ongoing violence against civilians, including against students, in Nicaragua.

Speaking on behalf of Guterres at the UN Headquarters, deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that “the use of lethal force is not only unacceptable but is also in itself an obstacle to obtaining a political solution to the current crisis”.

The UN chief called on the Nicaraguan government to “provide effective protection to its population against attacks, ensure respect for human rights and establish accountability for the violence.”

According to media reports, at least ten people were shot dead in Nicaragua on Sunday as police and paramilitary groups supporting the government, sought to remove roadblocks set up by anti-government demonstrators, who have been demanding that President Daniel Ortega step down.

The current wave of anti-government protests began following the announcement of changes to Nicaragua’s pension system on April 18, which have since been scrapped.

The government says that the protesters are attempting to stage a coup d’etat against the administration of Ortega. It recently launched “Operation Clean-up” to try to remove the barricades and retake full control of urban areas.

Hundreds have been reportedly killed since the protests began.

Earlier this month, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, called on the Nicaraguan authorities to “take real steps” to prevent further loss of life in the country.

IMAGE: Thousands of Nicaraguans have protested since April. More than a hundred people have died in clashes with authorities. Álvaro Navarro/Artículo 66
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