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February 24, 2006
Sexual Abuse Continues With UN Peacekeepers

The UN peacekeeping forces continue to sexually abuse their wards, according to an internal review at Turtle Bay, and the problem will exist for years:

Jean-Marie Guehenno said the UN had investigated 295 cases under a new reporting system introduced last year.

It could take several more years to reform the system fully, says Jordan's UN envoy who last year urged changes.

The 18 peace missions worldwide employ 85,000 staff from over 100 countries, with a budget of nearly $5bn.

Mr Guehenno said although significant progress had been made in reducing the number of cases of sexual exploitation following an investigation in the Democratic Republic of Congo two years ago, much more needed to be done.

"Allegations being lodged against UN peacekeeping personnel remain high and unacceptably so," he said.

He noted "how hard it is to change a culture of dismissiveness, long developed within ourselves, in our countries and in the mission areas."

So what's supposed to happen while the UN continues its weak efforts at reform? Do refugees need to literally hide the women and children when blue-helmeted soldiers appear on the scene? It seems as though the UN wants to take no responsibility for enforcing discipline in the armed forces that act on their behalf, and that's because they do not have the authority to do so. Troops only respond to national leadership, not to diplomatic personnel.

When people argue that only the UN has the moral authority to initiate military operations, clip this story and pass it around.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 24, 2006 7:37 AM

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