August 11, 2007

Shocker: UN Troops Corrupt (Again)!

Well, the United Nations peacekeeping efforts have one undeniable quality: consistency. The Pakistani peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have moonlighted as security for gold smugglers. They also traded arms to one of the more notorious African militias to get their share (via Instapundit):

The BBC has obtained an internal UN report examining allegations of gold smuggling by Pakistani peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It concluded that Pakistani officers provided armed escorts, hospitality and food to gold smugglers in east Congo. ...

The Pakistani battalion at the centre of the claims was based in and around the mining town of Mongbwalu, in the north-east of the country, in 2005.

They helped bring peace to an area that had previously seen bitter fighting between the Lendu and Hema ethnic groups.

But witnesses claimed Pakistani officers also supplied weapons to notorious FNI militia commanders in return for gold.

It didn't stop there, either. After trading with the FNI, the UN peacekeepers expanded the franchise. They involved Congolese army personnel, and even decided to overlook historical rivalries by partnering with Indian traders from Kenya.

Maybe they wanted to focus on Kashmir for their peacekeeping?

The report actually whitewashes a number of allegations that have not risen to public prominence yet. Human Rights Watch believes that the Pakistani peacekeepers have become brokers in a "Mafia like operation" that aims to control access to gold mining operations in DR Congo. Witnesses say that the Pakistanis provide cover for their travel at UN facilities, even driving smugglers in UN vehicles and inviting their co-conspirators to dinner in the UN officer's mess.

The confidential report makes something else clear, though -- no one has been arrested for this activity. No one has been held to account. The UN has only come up with a recommendation that Pakistan initiate disciplinary action against its troops, but has done nothing to eject them from DR Congo or strip them of their status as UN peacekeepers. If the UN's pattern with accusations of sexual abuse gives us any guide, we can expect the UN effort at accountability to consist of a strongly worded memo to someone ... somewhere.


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Comments (4)

Posted by FedUp | August 11, 2007 2:01 PM

Time to pack up the UN... move it to France and send in our token $25.00/year. The UN is a joke and has been for far too many years. The premise is excellent, but, has been corrupted beyond repair!

Posted by Bennett | August 11, 2007 2:19 PM

I find it interesting that these particular troops are Pakistani since they're the same guys we're apparently counting on to keep things high and tight up there in the bin Laden badlands.

Outside of a few countries (ours for example), no one else's military is going to care about what happens to people not their own. This is why they rape and pillage at the worst or stand by idly and do nothing at best when deployed under the UN banner. And there's no one to call them account, just the leadership of whatever country they are from and those officials have nothing to gain politically by going after soldiers who misbehave on someone else's soil.

Just another reason why it's great to be an American and hope we never have to depend on some other country for our security.

Posted by JEM | August 12, 2007 2:09 AM

I love (sarcasm alert) to see just what happens when one calls up the UN for a little police action.

Your neighbor comes over and punches you in the face. You call the cops, and instead the Good Humor man shows up, hands your neighbor a Fudgsicle, stomps into your living room and rapes your daughter.

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 13, 2007 7:05 AM

If the UN's pattern with accusations of sexual abuse gives us any guide, we can expect the UN effort at accountability to consist of a strongly worded memo to someone ... somewhere.

Nah. Just a billing statement to the Pakis detailing the UN's cut of their action...

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