UN experts to probe Algeria's disappeared

AP News
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Posted: Sep 19, 2012 5:26 PM
UN experts to probe Algeria's disappeared

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — U.N. experts will visit Algeria to investigate what happened to thousands of people who disappeared in the 1990s during an insurgency's darkest moments.

The U.N. human rights commissioner, Navi Pillay, said Wednesday the Algerian government has agreed to allow a U.N. working group to come study the disappearances.

Pillay, who spoke during a visit to Algiers, did not say when the experts would go.

An estimated 200,000 people died during the insurgency — civilians, security forces and insurgents. More than 3,000 people have been buried without ever being identified. Thousands are unaccounted for.

Families of the disappeared mainly blame Algerian security forces for whisking loved ones away in aggressive pursuit of insurgents and their sympathizers.

During Pillay's visit, Algerian police forcefully broke up a demonstration by families of the disappeared.