January 07, 2005

More on the prostitution, rape of Congolese girls by UN soldiers

Report: U.N. Troops Exploited Congo Girls U.S. National - (AP)
By LEYLA LINTON, Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS - United Nations peacekeepers in Congo sexually exploited women and girls, some as young as 13, a U.N. watchdog office said Friday in a new confirmation that efforts to curb abuses by U.N. troops are not working.

Peacekeepers regularly had sex with Congolese women and girls, usually in exchange for food or small sums of money, investigators from the world body's Office of Internal Oversight Services found. [ie: prostitution. --.ed]

"We have had and continue to have a serious problem of sexual exploitation and abuse," William Lacy Swing, the United Nations' special representative to Congo, said at a news conference.

"We are shocked by it, we are outraged, we are sickened by it. Peacekeepers who have been sworn to assist those in need, particularly those who have been victims of sexual violence, instead have caused grievous harm."

Charges of sex abuse and other crimes have been lodged against U.N. peacekeeping missions around the world for decades. Officials have found it difficult to crack down because the United Nations doesn't want to offend the relatively small number of countries that are willing to provide peacekeepers. [What the...--.ed]


The abusive behavior in Congo continued even as the investigation was going on in Bunia between May and September, the report said. It also said some military officers tried to block the investigators' work.

The misconduct was "serious and ongoing" and investigators found it "disturbing" that there was no program in place to deter misconduct or protect civilians from abuses, the report added.


The investigators looked into 72 allegations against military and civilian U.N. personnel, which resulted in 20 case reports, all but one involving peacekeepers.

"In six cases, the allegations against the peacekeeper were fully substantiated, and underage girls were involved in all of them," the report said. It said none of the peacekeepers admitted to the allegations.

Here's a related post from December 23 2004 with an article by the Times (UK):U.N. Peacekeepers involved in rampant sex scandal in the Congo

All I have to say is this:

If the poor and the oppressed and disease and hunger stricken of the world have to worry about foreign "peacekeepers" coming in and raping their young women--after a war in which such actions probably already occurred...who will protect them?

During the horrible era of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, the military would rape and defile the women young and old (read: "pre-pubescent to elderly") in front of the men and family--subsequently psychologically traumatizing entire villages.

How is this any different?!?! Where is the conviction and decency in the hearts of every U.N. "peacekeeper" that is supposed to represent the most noble and altruistic humanitarian ideals of the 20th century? The United Nations itself has turned into a terrorist organization.

New world order, indeed.

UPDATE: Eric covered the same story but from the Reuters account. The al-Reuters version had this additional and very interesting segment:

[...] The peacekeepers over the last year have been accused of gang rapes, sexual harassment and bribing children as young as 12 or 13 with eggs, milk and a few dollars to have sex in bushes, on the bare ground or under mango trees.

Posted by Kyer at January 7, 2005 10:46 PM