Another U.N. Peacekeeper Rape Scandal
The U.N. has suffered yet another rape scandal, this time involving Moroccan soldiers and Ivory Coast girls.
“It means they don’t participate in our operations,” said Hamadoun Toure, spokesman for the U.N. mission in Cote d’Ivoire (ONUCI). “Those who are found guilty will be sent back home.”
The world body said the measure was in addition to a decision to confine the entire battalion of 734 soldiers to barracks.
U.N. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday the investigation involved Moroccan soldiers having sex with a large number of underage girls in the West African country’s northern rebel stronghold of Bouake.
I’m afraid these recurring outrages are unavoidable. The combination of using mostly troops from unprofessional Third World militaries and the total lack of consequences for bad behavior is a recipe for disaster.
The alternatives, however, are not any better. Using Western troops has all manner of problems, given the colonial legacy (although there are some French troops involved in this operation) and avoiding intervention altogether will likely result in far more atrocities than committed by U.N. peacekeepers.
UPDATE: BBC has more details of the current scandal and a sidebar list of some of the previous incidents:
2003 – Nepalese troops accused of sexual abuse while serving in DR Congo. Six are later jailed
2004 – Two UN peacekeepers repatriated after being accused of abuse in Burundi
2005 – UN troops accused of rape and sexual abuse in Sudan
2006 – UN personnel accused of rape and exploitation on missions is Haiti and Liberia