View Full Version : U.N. Staff Accused of Raping Children in Sudan

01-03-2007, 02:57 AM
3 January London Daily Telegraph - U.N. Staff Accused of Raping Children in Sudan (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=0EG0B5D4Z41U1QFIQMFCFGGAVCBQ YIV0?).

Members of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in southern Sudan are facing allegations of raping and abusing children as young as 12, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

The abuse allegedly began two years ago when the U.N. mission in southern Sudan (UNMIS) moved in to help rebuild the region after a 23-year civil war. The U.N. has up to 10,000 military personnel in the region, of all nationalities and the allegations involve peacekeepers, military police and civilian staff.

The first indications of sexual exploitation emerged within months of the U.N. force's arrival and The Daily Telegraph has seen a draft of an internal report compiled by the U.N. children's agency UNICEF in July 2005 detailing the problem.

But the U.N. has not publicly acknowledged that there is a problem and when contacted repeatedly by this newspaper U.N. headquarters refused to comment...

3 January London Daily Telegraph editorial - Yet Again, the U.N. Shows Itself Unfit for Purpose (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/01/03/dl0301.xml).

It wouldn't be the first time. If U.N. personnel have, as alleged, been molesting children in southern Sudan, they will be following in a long tradition of abuse. Around the world, U.N. officials have run smuggling and prostitution rings, stolen and sold supplies, and traded food for sex. Sometimes, the racket becomes institutionalized, as when U.N. contractors collaborated with Ba'athists on the oil-for-food boondoggle. More often, the organization is greedy and self-serving, but stops short of outright corruption. We learnt this week, for example, that the U.N. has voted £2.5 million to refurbish the secretary-general's residence in New York (Ban Ki-moon and his wife are being put up in a suite at the Waldorf Astoria in the meantime).

The reason that the U.N. so often behaves badly is, paradoxically, because so many people wish it well. Because the organization embodies the loftiest of ideals -- peace among nations -- it tends to receive the automatic benefit of the doubt. We are so fond of the theoretical U.N. that we rarely drag our gaze down to the actual one. The U.N. has therefore fallen out of the habit of having to explain itself and, in consequence, become flabby, immobilist and often sleazy.

If that criticism sounds too harsh, consider its record since the end of the Cold War – the period in which it might have been expected to come into its own. In Bosnia, it was worse than useless. Uselessness would have meant doing nothing. Instead, the U.N. imposed an arms embargo that favoured one side over the other, herded the losers into notionally protected areas, disarmed them and then handed them over for execution. In Rwanda, when the U.N. commander on the ground informed his superiors that a mass slaughter was planned, and that he intended to forestall it by seizing the weapons caches, he was told to do no such thing...

Tom Odom
01-03-2007, 03:24 PM
A personal friend of mine, COL Charles Muheri--G3 of the Rwandan Army while I was there--ended up investigating a murder case as Charles was a former lawyer in his previous life. The case involved a shoooting by Nigerian troops of a Rwandan local that was initially reported as an "attack" against the Nigerians by the contingent commander. As a results of Charles' ferreting, the UNAMIR 2 force commander sent the Nigerians packing.

That aside, I see these problems in any large scale military deployment--especiallly when you get into the realm of heavy use of civilian and civilian contractors in an environment like Sudan, Rwanda, or Iraq for that matter.



01-03-2007, 04:26 PM
I heard speculation (and I think it could be informed speculation) that one of the reasons why Aideed went after the Pakistani contingent and ambushed them at the cigaretter factory was because some soldiers had raped Somali women who were working aboard the various compounds.

I've never heard any other corraborating information, but it was a commonly held belief among most of the Marines who were relieved by my platoon in 1994. They were guys who had deployed on the heels of the 3 October fight, for a security mission at the embassy compound, and they got to hear a lot of scuttlebutt from the USLO staff.