Is the UN finally taking some action?

Let’s hope so. A UN spokesperson announced yesterday that there has been a number of U.N. peacekeepers that have sexually abused and exploited local women in Liberia, where they were stationed to protect them. Old news, my friend.
The official speaking on a condition of anonymity said that the number of total allegations could reach up to twenty. “The allegations range from the exchange of goods, money or services for sex to the sexual exploitation of minors. The peacekeeping department here in New York as well as the mission on the ground are taking appropriate follow-up action.”
We’ll see about that. These atrocities have been continuing for so long and near to nothing has been done about it. If you want to take some action, click here.
Here’s some other posts on the UN and violence against women in war:
What’s (Not) Being Done in the Sudan
UN’s Inadequate Response to Gender-Based Violence
Report Released on Women and War
Sexual Assault and the UN (AGAIN)

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2 Comments

  1. eva
    Posted May 1, 2005 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    here we go again..listen, one of THE most important aspects of a peacekeeping operation is the quality of troops being donated by the various memberstates (that would be us, the members of the UN), the mandate of the mission and of course, the funding. I am in NO way trying to excuse what has been going on in MONUC (UN in the Congo), Liberia or Haiti – but before pointing the finger solely at “the UN”, we need to ask ourselves if we are doing all that we can to make these peacekeeping operations work as best as possible. We are not. They need more money, people! They need EDUCATED, TRAINED AND PROFESSIONAL TROOPS. they need equiptment. just boots would be a nice start – at the illfated mission to Rwanda, some of the troops showed up barefoot! This is just to show that these soldiers face pretty appalling conditions, and unfortunately gender sensitivity tends to be a little lower on the list of priorities. A commander who can’t give his men the proper equiptment is probably a little less prone to have workshops on such issues, to enforce curfews, to ensure that his men do not “fraternize” with the civilians they are supposed to protect. Listen, these missions have to do so much with so little, that this is just one of the issues that are pushed to the bottom of the list. I don’t like it, but that is the way it is. In some camps there is no televison, not even a radio. I can see why the commander allows his men to go to prostitutes. What else are they going to do to pass the time? And the civilians are so poor, the troops are a goldmine to them. Another issue is that hardly ANY western countries contribute troops anymore – occasionally a european colonial power will contribute a few troops to a former colony -but not for long, and never long enough. so what we have is impowerished troops on a shoestring budget trying to solve the vast and neverending problems of other impoverished nations. if we care so much, let’s send some of our boys there! oops, sorry, they are all busy elsewhere, for reasons less noble than keeping the peace, adn not doing so hot either when it comes to human rights violations.
    10000 troops in the congo, on a shoestring budget, the country is the size of WESTERN EUROPE! a thousand people die every day in the congo. Sexual abuses are despicable, but the solution must be found in the larger context of making peacekeeping operations better. Just blaming the UN (as always) wont help, especially not when memberstates themselves hold much of the blame for setting up the conditions for these atrocities to be committed. Moral outrage won’t really help here, at least not just moral outrage. We need some realistic solutions for making this work in the long term. The UN can come up with part of the solution for htis problem, it is currently doing just that. BUT, the thing is, it is a desperately unappealing job to be a peacekeeper (high risk, not even your own country, limited mandate, so you can’t even do anything about the atrocities you are witnessing, lowpaid, no proper equiptment, noone wants to do it,(do you KNOW how diffucult it is to get memberstates to send troops to a mission? how many months it takes, even after they have pledged??) a minority sees sexual abuses as some sort of “spoils of war”. As long as we are not making it more attractive to be a peacekeeper, well, then the troops who thinks that way will be the only one willing to do the job.
    AND, now that I am on rant anyway, after the tsunamidisaster, memberstates sent 8 helicopters right away. The UN have not been able to secure just one – 1 helicopter for rescuing operations in the Sudan. so, next time someone is bitching about how the UN does nothing and blah blah blah, well, the UN does not have a standing army, nor a huge bankaccount. Less people are employed at the headquarters in new york than there are civil servants in the city of stockholm, sweden. the un is not perfect. but it is basically nationstates who run it.

  2. tfreridge
    Posted May 2, 2005 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Maybe they should of taken some of the money they scammed from the oil for food program and trained their troops with it.
    The UN is corrupt and impotent. They let the atrocities continue because they have no motivation to stop them and/or they are being bribed/coerced to look the other way.
    How can you even defend the actions of those soldiers? There is NO EXCUSE for raping young girls regardless of funding. The fact is, when you compare any troops, you are comparing them to the quality, honor, courage of American troops and there is NO COMPARISON.
    Kofi Annan and his ilk have lined their pockets with the blood of the third world and the middle east.

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