Home Foreign Ban Ki-Moon tasks UN peacekeeping heads over sex abuse

Ban Ki-Moon tasks UN peacekeeping heads over sex abuse


New York – UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, on Friday in New York urged the leadership of every UN peacekeeping mission to seriously address the issue of sex abuse by peacekeepers.
Ban made the call during a teleconference with the head of UN peacekeeping mission.
The conference came one day after he asked Babacar Gaye, Head, UN peacekeeping mission to Central African Republic, to leave his position following a new sexual abuse allegation against UN troops in the country.
Ban reiterated UN’s zero-tolerance policy toward sexual exploitation and abuse.
He stressed that zero tolerance means, zero complacency and zero impunity, and that when allegations are substantiated, all personnel whether military, police or civilians must be held accountable.
Ban told mission leaders to pay more attention to prevention and training on sexual abuse and raise awareness to the issue among local communities.
“The time has come for thorough investigation into every case, even though the UN’s jurisdiction only extends to UN staff.
“Though military personnel, who are provided by troop-contributing countries, fall solely under their national jurisdiction, yet there must be investigation”, he said.
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The latest allegation was reported Tuesday by human rights watchdog Amnesty International.
The organization said a 12-year-old girl was raped on Aug. 2 at Bangui while UN troops from Rwanda and Cameroon were carrying out operations during armed clashes.
The rights organisation said peacekeepers allegedly killed a 16 year-old boy and his father in the same area the following day when the troops were shooting at people indiscriminately.
The UN Security Council held closed consultations Thursday over the issue.
Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, said after the meeting that there was clear recognition that the current system to prevent and prosecute sexual assaults by peacekeepers was not sufficient.
“The system as it currently stands has a lot of gaps in it.
“We’re going to have to make the system far more vigilant and far better at ensuring that there is sufficient connectivity with communities and sufficient vigilance on mission leadership,” she said.
She said information about misconduct allegations needed to move faster up the chain of command within the UN and to reach capitals of troop-contributing countries, so they could begin investigations.
Power said capitals should be more transparent about the outcome of investigations to show that perpetrators of grave violations are held accountable. (dpa/NAN)

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