3 SA peacekeepers face sex abuse allegations
18 May 2016, 13:56
New York - The United Nations said on Tuesday it has
received 44 allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers and staff in UN
missions so far this year involving more than 40 minors.
UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said 29 allegations were reported in the UN
peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, seven in the UN mission
in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and two in the mission in Haiti. One
allegation each was made in the UN peacekeeping missions in South Sudan, Ivory
Coast, Mali and the disputed Abeyi border region between Sudan and South Sudan
as well as in the UN political missions in Libya and overseeing the Middle East
The United Nations has been in the spotlight for months over allegations of
child rape and other sexual abuses by its peacekeepers, especially those based
in Central African Republic and DRC. There have been similar allegations
against the French force known as Sangaris, which operates independently in
Central African Republic.
The UN reported on March 31 that 108 girls and women had come forward with
sexual abuse accusations against international peacekeepers in Kemo prefecture
in Central African Republic, dating from 2013 through 2015. The US-based
advocacy group Aids-Free World that first reported the allegations in Kemo
prefecture said UN investigators had documented 41 additional cases by April 4.
Dujarric said on Tuesday there was no update on that investigation which is
being conducted by the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services.
SA soldier faces court martial
The UN has 105 000 peacekeepers deployed in 16 hotspots around the world as
well as political missions in a host of countries including Afghanistan, Iraq
Dujarric said 35 of the allegations reported this year involve UN military
personnel — including 11 from DRC, six from the neighbouring Republic of Congo,
three from Morocco and three from South Africa — and four allegations involve UN
He said 41 investigations are under way.
Three investigations have been completed: A peacekeeper from Bangladesh
serving in CAR was sentenced to one year in prison for sexually abusing a
minor; an Egyptian peacekeeper serving in CAR was court martialed and sentenced
to five years for sexually assaulting an adult; and a UN civilian staffer has
been put on leave without pay pending a decision on action to be taken,
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended that UN peacekeepers accused
of sexual abuse and exploitation be court martialed in the countries where the
alleged incidents take place — and Dujarric said South Africa has announced
that it will court martial a soldier in the DRC where he is serving, which
would be a first.
"This decision will permit the victims, and the affected communities in
... Congo to see justice at work," Dujarric said.