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The UN has announced yet another investigation into yet another series of allegations of sexual abuse of refugees under the protection of UN peacekeepers. The London Telegraph had earlier reported on the systemic abuse of children in Sudan, and Turtle Bay has once again promised a full and open probe, blah, blah, blah:
The United Nations said last night that it was launching an investigation into allegations reported in The Daily Telegraph that its peacekeepers and staff have abused children in southern Sudan. ...
The Daily Telegraph yesterday reported allegations of blue berets paying children as young as 12 for sex in the mission in southern Sudan, known as UNMIS. The abuse allegedly began two years ago when the mission moved in to help rebuild the region after a 23-year civil war.
The UN has up to 10,000 military personnel in the region, of all nationalities, and the allegations involve peacekeepers, military police and civilian staff.
The Daily Telegraph has learned of more than 20 victims' accounts claiming that some peacekeeping and civilian staff based in Juba regularly pick up young children in their UN vehicles and force them to have sex.
It is thought that hundreds may have been abused.
This has been going on since May 2004, when the Independent first reported the systemic sexual abuse of women and children in the UN mission for the Congo. In the 31 months since then, we have seen no effort to end the abuses; instead, we have discovered more and more examples of massive atrocities committed by both the component troops of peacekeeping missions and UN personnel. The UN flag seems to serve as a warning to hide the women and children than for hope of peace and stability.
Where else has this happened? A report from the Washington Post in March 2005 showed that similar abuses occurred on a systemic basis around the world. This was the UN response to this report almost two years ago:
The United Nations is facing new allegations of sexual misconduct by U.N. personnel in Burundi, Haiti, Liberia and elsewhere, which is complicating the organization's efforts to contain a sexual abuse scandal that has tarnished its Nobel Prize-winning peacekeepers in Congo.
The allegations indicate that a series of measures the United Nations has taken in recent years have failed to eliminate a culture of sexual permissiveness that has plagued its far-flung peacekeeping operations over the last 12 years. But senior U.N. officials say they have signaled their seriousness by imposing new reforms and forcing senior U.N. military commanders and officials to step down if they do not curb such practices.
A report by Refugees International at the time emphasized that the problem existed in every UN mission. The reason was because the UN lacked accountability, transparency, and discipline. The UN promised to start reforming itself immediately at the time.
Here we are, almost two years later, and we see that they have done nothing -- and they still have no accountability, transparency, and discipline.
At some point in time, we have to ask ourselves whether we want to remain complict in the UN's chronic atrocities. After all, our money funds these missions, and that gives us a measure of responsibility for these crimes. If the UN refuses to take any real and effective action to stop these abuses and to ensure that they do not occur again, we should pull our funding for the UN on that basis alone. Let the entire corrupt organization collapse of its own moral rot, and work towards replacing it with an organization that has accountability and discipline built into its operations.Sphere It View blog reactions
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