July 30, 2007

UN Decries Rape In The Congo (No, Really)

The misery of the Congolese continues. The agency bringing this news, unfortunately, has contributed to it mightily in the recent past:

A UN human rights expert has said she is shocked at the scale and brutality of sexual violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Yakin Erturk said the situation in South Kivu province was the worst she had seen in four years as special UN investigator on violence against women.

She said women had been tortured, forced to eat human flesh and men had been forced to rape relatives.

She said rebels, soldiers and police were responsible.

Ms. Erturk is a little too modest about this. It's not just the rebels, soldiers, and police, but also her own parent organization that has perpetrated these war crimes. Three years ago, the Independent exposed the UN's peacekeeping forces in the Congo as rapists and pimps, with the UN's own personnel as enablers at the least. Ever since then, the UN has continued to have its peacekeeping forces in Africa plagued by these disgusting allegations.

The UN observer noticed something else consistent with UN peacekeepers as well. Despite the presence of 16,000 blue-helmeted peacekeepers, the UN has done nothing to intercede on behalf of the victims of these genocidal war crimes. They have done nothing to restrain the security forces from victimizing entire communities, and unfortunately for the Congolese, they have demonstrated fairness to the rebls by doing nothing about their atrocities, either. The peacekeepers have done nothing at all, which is reminiscent of almost every deployment of UN peacekeepers over the last generation when they don't include Western troops.

Why does this continue to happen, especially in Africa? Two reasons come immediately to mind. The UN is not an organization that can handle military deployments. It has no sovereign interests, and it has none of the organizational accountability necessary for military discipline. The UN cannot issue action orders to its peacekeepers and expect reliable obedience. The second reason is even more simple, and even Ms. Erturk notes it in her report. This kind of violence is "perceived by large sectors of society to be normal".

That may explain why the combination of the UN and African forces leads to such disasters as the plague of exploitation in recent peacekeeping missions on the continent. It also consigns the women and girls of Africa to a life of gross victimization as no one appears willing or able to end the exploitation. Lacking any sort of organizational discipline and employing troops from military commands unlikely to see the practice as a priority for intervention, the UN actually shields the perpetrators from any chance of accountability.

UPDATE: Bruce Kesler has more at Democracy Project and Gateway Pundit.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments (6)

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | July 30, 2007 8:18 AM

Reason #6,328 on why the U.S. should abandon the institution and try something else.

Consider that as the biggest footprint in the organization, the U.S. absorbs the bad publicity and misplaced blame since these are all blue helmets, purposefully designed to be conceptually indistinguishable from each other. The member troops speak as one voice, and their protectees observe violation, abuse, and selective, self-serving interference. Not only do the weakest need worry about their domestic threats, now they must be concerned about their "defenders" too. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.

Now, were you a citizen being victimized by this institution, would you worry too much about distinguishing which nation was helpful, proactive and which was not? Perhaps, but I think ultimately not. One's biggest concern would be surviving. Assuming that, then a rapidly developing reflexive rejection of the U.N. (and anything it touches) as savior would ensue. Don't think that doesn't inspire hatred at a fundamentally basic level that is projected at the U.S. which is expected to oversee the institution even though it's the rogue members impeding such oversight.

I've applauded Norm Coleman's and John Bolton's attempts at UN reform, but it doesn't seem to be an institution worth saving. Even in its humanitarian mission, the one universally praised, perhaps naively so, by most of the world, it fails... sometimes dramatically.

Posted by capitano | July 30, 2007 8:18 AM

This belated report should be a topic in the Presidential debates, especially to those who insist that the UN is the final arbiter for all things international. Not that I recommend US intervention, but where is the EU? After all, aren't the colonialists responsible for all the bad news in the Third World?

As for the US, let's go a step further. It probably wouldn't pay as much as globe trotting speeches, but former President Bill Clinton could offer his expertise for a "blue ribbon panel" to investigate these crimes against women. And where's Hollywood? Would a rock concert be too much to ask?

Posted by se7en | July 30, 2007 8:42 AM

Having lived in Africa and being quite familiar with Congolese refugees, the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) and 'the' Congo are different countries. The DRC is formerly known as Zaire, and the country to which we refer to as "The Congo" is NOT the DRC, but Congo-Brazaville (or the Congo which has the city Brazaville).
Just a simple geo-linguistic lesson. This is coming from the Congolese themselves.

Posted by LarryD | July 30, 2007 8:50 AM

And where are the "Not in my name" types? Anyone who is pro-UN and does not support correcting this, is an accessory to these atrocities.

Posted by lexhamfox | July 30, 2007 9:28 AM

Even the UN's supporters realize this is a problem but it is extremely hard to get well trained and disciplined armies to participate in longstanding missions in places like West and Central Africa. Those countries willing to deploy troops have armies that do this sort of thing at home. It is not just African troops who do these things... the Nepalese troops in DR Congo were recently restricted to their barracks for this type of behavior and Western armies have had similar issues while operating under the UN mandates:


The obvious remedy would be for the UN to have its own specially trained army for such missions with full accountability for these types of crimes but would the US support such a thing?


Posted by vet66 | July 30, 2007 9:47 AM

I fail to understand the silence coming from the feminist groups in the U.S. regarding this situation. The number of rapes, murders, false imprisonment, conscription, mayhem is genocide condoned by the U.N.

Yet the left would rather fuel the fires of BDS in their psychotic hatred of the American military, foreign policy, and the Bush administration.

Shame on them and those politicos who pander to their delusional wishful thinking.

Warning; sarcasm alert!

But then we should all concentrate the full force and majesty of our government on global warming, a subject near and dear to the hearts of potential rape and murder victims everywhere!