Amid continuing allegations of rape and sexual abuse by its own peacekeepers, the United Nations is about to issue a report focusing on the problem, and making suggestions to end the abuse.
According to the Associated Press, the report by Jordan’s U.N. Ambassador Prince Zeid al Hussein will propose that “foreign soldiers accused of wrongdoing be court-martialed inside the country where the claims were made,” according to a U.N. official who spoke anonymously.
As it currently stands, many peacekeepers accused of wrongdoing are never punished, since they’re simply sent home to be handled by their own governments.
“We are taking very firm measures – changing some of the commanders, some of the civilian staff have been disciplined – and we’ve come up with very strict instructions that they should not fraternize the way they have done in the past,” U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday.
As WorldNetDaily previously reported, the widespread sex scandal came to be known as “the U.N.’s Abu Ghraib,” with the London Times providing some specific examples, including:
- A French U.N. logistics expert in the Congo shot pornographic videos in his home, in which he had converted his bedroom into a photo studio for videotaping his sexual abuse of young girls. When police raided his home, the man was allegedly about to rape a 12-year-old girl sent to him in a law enforcement sting operation. As the Times reported, a senior Congolese police officer confirmed the bed was surrounded by large mirrors on three sides, with a remote control camera on the fourth side.
- U.N. officials are worried that the scandal, which already has netted 150 allegations of sex crimes by U.N. staffers, will explode if the pornographic videos and photos, now on sale in Congo, becoming public
“It would be a pretty big problem for the U.N. if these pictures come out,” one senior official told the Times.
- Two Russian pilots paid young girls with jars of mayonnaise and jam to have sex with them, the report adds.
- U.N. “peacekeepers” from Morocco based in Kisangani – a secluded town on the Congo River – are notorious for impregnating local women and girls. In March, an international group probing the scandal found 82 women and girls had been made pregnant by Moroccan U.N. staffers and 59 others by Uruguayan staffers. One U.N. soldier accused of rape was apparently hidden in the barracks for a year.
Congo’s Minister of Defense Maj.-Gen. Jean Pierre Ondekane told a top U.N. official that all U.N. “peacekeepers” in Kisangani would be remember for would be “for running after little girls,” the Times reported.
- And at least two U.N. officials – a Ukrainian and a Canadian – have been forced to leave the African nation after getting local women pregnant.
Most of the sexual abuse and exploitation involves trading sex for money, food or jobs. However, some victims say they were raped, but later given food or money to make the incident appear to have been consensual – “rape disguised as prostitution.”
U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno told the London paper: “The fact that these things happened is a blot on us. It’s awful. What is important is to get to the bottom of it and fight it and make sure that people who do that pay for what they have done.”
Despite the fact that the U.N.’s sexual code of conduct is prominently displayed on U.N. facilities Congo – forbidding sex with prostitutes or women under 18 – the U.N. continues to hand out free condoms to “peacekeepers” to protect them from AIDS.
Responding to the latest allegations of rape, an activist group renewed its call last week to evict the world body from the U.S.
Move America Forward, co-chaired by California campaigner Howard Kaloogian, has collected nearly 100,000 signatures on its petition to “Get the U.N. Out of the U.S.” and stop American funding of the organization.
“It has become an almost daily occurrence to read about allegations of rape and molestation by U.N. officials,” said Kaloogian. “The reputation of the U.N. is so badly tarnished that it cannot be trusted to investigate itself.”
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