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November 23, 2004
UN Seraglio In The Congo Getting Little Attention

Michelle Malkin points her readers this morning to a Reuters report that frankly makes Abu Ghraib look like a tea party. The UN peacekeepers in the Congo have abused and raped scores of refugees while supposedly protecting them from Islamofascist terrorists, in some cases extorting sexual favors for basic necessities:

The United Nations is investigating about 150 allegations of sexual abuse by U.N. civilian staff and soldiers in the Congo, some of them recorded on videotape, a senior U.N. official said on Monday.

The accusations include pedophilia, rape and prostitution, said Jane Holl Lute, an assistant secretary-general in the peacekeeping department.

Lute, an American, said there was photographic and video evidence for some of the allegations and most of the charges came to light since the spring.

Photographs? Videos? It sounds like Abu Ghraib, from which the media and the UN took the sick actions of a few low-ranking soldiers and created an onslaught against our reputation and our policies. In this case, the scale is much larger and the offenses much more egregious, not only because of the nature of the crimes themselves but because of the status of the victims. These people looked to the UN for assistance and all they got was exploitation.

Earlier this year, I wrote about this situation when it looked as though there had been a few dozen such incidents, as reported by the London Independent:

Teenage rape victims fleeing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being sexually exploited by the United Nations peace-keeping troops sent to the stop their suffering.

The Independent has found that mothers as young as 13 - the victims of multiple rape by militiamen - can only secure enough food to survive in the sprawling refugee camp by routinely sleeping with UN peace-keepers.

Testimony from girls and aid workers in the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp in Bunia, in the north-east corner of Congo, claims that every night teenage girls crawl through a wire fence to an adjoining UN compound to sell their bodies to Moroccan and Uruguayan soldiers.

In the six months that have passed since the Independent's report which originally broke the story, what has the UN done to stop the sexual abuse and extortion in its Congo contingent? Apparently nothing more than send a few soldiers home -- because they have no power to do anything else:

In May the United Nations reported some 30 cases of abuse among peacekeepers in the northeastern town of Bunia, where half of the more than 10,000 soldiers are stationed.

Last month, one French soldier and two Tunisian soldiers were sent home, U.N. officials said. Three U.N. civilian staff were suspended.

The United Nations has jurisdiction over its civilian staff but troops are contributed by individual nations. Consequently, the world body has only the power to demand a specific country repatriate an accused soldier and punish him or her at home.

Abu Ghraib prompted worldwide attention, press conferences, and televised hearings, all because people arrested for terrorism were abused by a few idiotic American troops lacking the discipline necessary for their assigned roles. In the Congo, the UN has tolerated the forced prostitution and sexual extortion of genocide victims they're supposedly protecting for months now. The media has done nothing to follow up on this story, making them complicit in the ongoing abuses in the Congo. Does abuse only become noteworthy when Americans are accused of it? Or is their no room in the Washington Post and the New York Times when the UN uses vulnerable refugees to create a bordello for its staff and the "peacekeepers" for which they are responsible?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 23, 2004 7:02 AM

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» US Out of the UN! from The Frozen Toaster
Am I seriously the only one in the entire world to see the simple fact that the US should not be involved in a crime organization like this? [Read More]

Tracked on November 23, 2004 9:40 AM

» UN peacekeeping: the bad and the ugly from The Key Monk
. . . some of this is caught on tape -- but considering that the link . . . is from AlertNet, not the NY Times, WaPo or CNN, you likely won't see the tapes (the viewable in primetime portions, that is) on the evening news. I'll take bets on that. [Read More]

Tracked on November 23, 2004 11:01 AM

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Tracked on November 23, 2004 12:15 PM

» UN Staff Accused of Sexual Abuse in Congo from
The tattered (at best) reputation of the United Nations took another significant hit recently when it revealed that it is investigating at least 150 allegations of sexual abuse by its staff and peace keeping troops in Congo. (Hat tip: Captain's Qua... [Read More]

Tracked on November 23, 2004 11:08 PM

» Submitted for Your Approval from Watcher of Weasels
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» WAR: The UN's Abu Ghraib from Baseball Crank
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Tracked on November 24, 2004 8:08 AM

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