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December 23, 2004
The UN's Abu Ghraib? They Wish

The London Times reports that surreptitiously filmed sex videos may create an Abu Ghraib-like scandal for the UN in Congo. A UN field "expert" shot the videos using hidden cameras while he had sex with Congolese women and children supposedly under the protection of the UN and sold the videos on the black market:

HOME-MADE pornographic videos shot by a United Nations logistics expert in the Democratic Republic of Congo have sparked a sex scandal that threatens to become the UNs Abu Ghraib. The expert was a Frenchman who worked at Goma airport as part of the UNs $700 million-a-year effort to rebuild the war-shattered country. When police raided his home they discovered that he had turned his bedroom into a studio for videotaping and photographing sex sessions with young girls.

The bed was surrounded by large mirrors on three sides, according to a senior Congolese police officer. On the fourth side was a camera that he could operate from the bed with a remote control.

When the police arrived the man was allegedly about to rape a 12-year-old girl sent to him in a sting operation. Three home-made porn videos and more than 50 photographs were found.

The case has highlighted the apparently rampant sexual exploitation of Congolese girls and women by the UNs 11,000 peacekeepers and 1,000 civilians at a time when the UN is facing many problems, including the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal and accusations of sexual harassment by senior UN staff in Geneva and New York.

The UN peacekeeping forces and professional staff have systematically exploited the women and young girls under their care, paying them for sexual services in food and cash, as little as a dollar or a jar of mayonnaise the going price. UN management has made sexual favors a prerequisite for employment. Over a hundred Congolese women and girls are pregnant with children of Uruguayan and Moroccan soldiers and at least two UN officials have also left behind pregnancies in the wake of their escapes.

Again, as these atrocities -- as the UN itself defines this kind of exploitation -- have been well known since May 2004 thanks to an expos by the Independent (UK), one would have expected the UN to have taken action to halt the Congolese seraglio long ago. Under Kofi Annan's leadership, however, accountability holds no meaning or weight. The Secretary-General instead called for a long-term investigation that allowed the same people to remain in place while internal auditors confirmed the story -- seven months later.

Of course, that gave the perverts working for the UN an additional seven months to extort and pressure their victims for more sexual services.

Now, with a report from the UN's own investigator telling Annan that [t]he situation appears to be one of zero-compliance with zero- tolerance throughout the mission, will the UN hold Annan responsible for the systematic and chronic commission of atrocities that went unchecked under his watch? Don't hold your breath. They didn't hold him accountable for the genocide in Rwanda, the lack of response to Darfur, or the massacre of Bosnian Muslims in the supposedly-protected enclave of Srebrenica. Compared to that, the rape of Congo fades into insignificance.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 23, 2004 3:26 PM

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» Aural Six from Legal XXX
The Cap'n has the scoop on what should be the UN's own Abu Ghraib (but won't). [Read More]

Tracked on December 23, 2004 7:44 PM

» What a lovely organization from Media Lies
Since I'm researching the troop strength issue, I don't have much time for "other" stuff, so I'll just point you to this article by Captain Ed about the lovely UN. HOME-MADE pornographic videos shot by a United Nations logistics expert in the Democr... [Read More]

Tracked on December 23, 2004 8:24 PM

» Your UN Contribution at Work III from INCITE
Congratulations! You just paid for the rape of a 10 year old girl! [Read More]

Tracked on December 24, 2004 12:53 PM

» More allegations of abuse by UN peacekeepers from Ace of Trump
Glenn Reynolds posts about even more problems with UN peacekeepers in the Congo. This is sickening and amazing stuff. [Read More]

Tracked on December 24, 2004 8:21 PM

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