An expat's commentary on current events in national security, foreign affairs, the media, culture, technology and assorted trivia.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Blue Helmets and Purple Helmets, v.3

Another installment in the recurring series of 'Blue Helmets and Purple Helmets'

BH & PH, v. 1: here

BH & PH, v. 2: here

Let's review the UN's statements on the matter of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning UN peacekeeping force's violent sexual proclivities.

In 1993, U.N. peacekeepers in Cambodia were charged with sexually abusing girls. At the time, the U.N.'s top official in Cambodia, Yasushi Akashi, played down the gravity of the allegations, saying, "Boys will be boys."

In 2002, the UN investigated claims that UN peacekeepers in West Africa are serial rapists and pedophiles, and found the claims baseless, even though independent studies concluded they were well-founded.

In 2004, confronted by incontrovertible evidence, the UN admitted, in a 'modified limited hangout' that, yes, there were a few cases, but only by a very few bad people and only in one place.

In 2005, the UN admitted that sexual abuse, gang rape, pedophilia, and sex trafficking is, in fact, a big problem in every UN peacekeeping operation.

23 October 2002 (BBC)
The United Nations has rejected allegations that any of its peacekeepers and aid agency workers have been engaged in the sexual exploitation of refugees in West Africa. An internal UN report says a six-month probe has been unable to confirm any of the cases of alleged abuse that had been detailed during an independent investigation last February.

The allegations of widespread sexual abuse involving locally-employed UN staff in West Africa sent a wave of horror and embarrassed shame through the entire organisation. The reports, which emerged from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, spoke of aid workers and peacekeepers obtaining sexual favours from refugees, mostly young girls, in exchange for food.

The practice seemed to have been confirmed in an investigation by independent consultants appointed jointly by the UN's own refugee agency and the British-based charity Save the Children. But now, the UN has concluded that the main allegations are baseless.

Indeed, a UN spokesman, Dileep Nair, chided those involved in the original investigation. "The consultants' allegations of widespread sexual exploitation by UN aid workers and peacekeepers cannot be substantiated," he said. "Indeed, we feel the consultants' report unfairly tarnished the reputation and credibility of a large majority of UN aid workers and peacekeepers who are out there in the field."

Mr Nair said that in some cases, the alleged victims' accounts have since been discredited, in others, efforts to identify the victims had been unsuccessful. Mr Nair acknowledged a handful of incidents which he said had been properly dealt with, and he acknowledged that sexual harassment in the camps of West Africa was an issue. However he said it was not an issue for which the aid workers themselves were directly responsible.

That, my friends, is a vociferous denial.

Silly Dileep, you don't set a fox to investigate who was the critter that raided the henhouse!

Cue Didier Bourguet, the Frenchman who, though he may be both a senior UN official and a pedophile criminal, also provided a real public service... by videotaping some of his exploits. (On his PC "hard drive were thousands of photos of him having sex with hundreds of young Congolese girls.") More info here.

So shut up, Dileep Nair (who himself stands accused of sexual harassment and of using Oil-for-Food money to hire a deputy that did no work).

The video evidence finally made Kofi Annan speak up:

19 November 2004 (BBC)
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has said there is clear evidence that UN staff sexually abused refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Allegations of abuse at UN camps surfaced last year, prompting the UN's internal watchdog to launch an inquiry. After being briefed on its progress, Mr Annan said a small number of civilian and military personnel had committed "shameful" acts of gross misconduct. He added that those involved must be held accountable. Two years ago, a UN investigation rejected similar allegations of sexual exploitation of refugees by UN staff in West Africa.

In a statement released in Nairobi, Mr Annan said he had received a "detailed briefing... about the investigations which the UN initiated some time ago into allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by both civilian and military peacekeeping personnel in the DRC". He added: "I am afraid there is clear evidence that acts of gross misconduct have taken place. This is a shameful thing for the United Nations to have to say, and I am absolutely outraged by it."

Of course, that was a transparent attempt to maintain the tissue of lies that in West Africa, the UN peacekeepers are self-sacrificing heroes, whilst it was only in Congo that a few bad apples had brought shame on the noble peacekeeping operations. (These bad apples apparently amused themselves by activities such as the gang-rape of children as young as 12.)

Of course, later, facts rudely presented themselves and out UN betters were forced to admit that it wasn't, after all, only in the Congo:

27 Feb 2005 (Reuters) (sorry, link has expired, but it was here at the time)

U.N. officials fear the sex-abuse scandal among peacekeepers in Africa is far more widespread and appears to be a problem in each of the global body’s 16 missions around the world.

Rocked by widespread abuse of women and girls, including gang rape, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations also has found sexual exploitation cases in at least four other missions—in Burundi, Liberia, Ivory Coast—as well as more recently in Haiti, they added.

"We think this will look worse before it begins to look better,” Jane Holl Lute, assistant secretary general for peacekeeping operations, told reporters. “We expect that more information will come from every mission on allegations. We are prepared for that."

(Emphasis added.)

They are not just in Africa, Kofi.

Credible allegations have come in from every UN peacekeeping allegation around the globe, including Cambodia, Kosovo, and Haiti.

That makes it every single inhabited continent.

Where could they have developed such voracious appetites for violence and rapine? How could they have learned such habits?

In the early 1990s, Kofi Annan was the head of UN Peacekeeping Operations.


At 9:06 PM, Blogger QFU said...

Thank you for doing so much homework on this. Appalling, isn't it? And the Dems are worried that Bolton might offend someone at the UN?

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