Monusco child sex assults highlighted

2015-08-17 22:02

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kinshasa - The UN mission in the DR Congo launched a graphic campaign on Monday aimed at preventing sexual abuse by its peacekeepers following a child rape scandal in the neighbouring Central African Republic.

The words "Sex with children is a crime" were splashed across images released for the campaign by Monusco, one of the world's largest peacekeeping missions.

The campaign comes after UN chief Ban Ki-moon sacked his Central African Republic mission chief after a string of allegations of child sex abuse by peacekeepers there.

The mission in the DR Congo has also been tainted by similar scandals.

In 2005, the UN banned peacekeepers from having relations with Congolese residents after allegations emerged that soldiers had sexually abused 13-year-old girls.

One campaign photo issued by Monusco shows a young African girl on a bed, hands over her face, with a UN blue helmet and uniform on the floor next to her.

"She could be your daughter. No sex with children!" says the accompanying text.

Another photo shows the shirtless back of a UN soldier, behind bars, with a bold red banner reading "Sex with children is a crime".

A Monusco source told AFP that the campaign was "planned well before" the scandal that led to Wednesday's sacking of the UN mission chief in the Central African Republic, Babacar Gaye.

The Monusco force in the troubled country, which took over from an African Union mission nearly a year ago, has been plagued by a series of scandals involving its soldiers.

12-year-old girl

So far, there have been 57 claims of misconduct, 11 of which possibly involve child sex abuse.

The latest allegations revealed by Amnesty International involve a 12-year-old girl who told witnesses she was raped by a UN soldier during a search operation in Bangui this month.

"When I cried, he slapped me hard and put his hand over my mouth," she told Amnesty.

The United States said last week it was "profoundly shocked" by the claims of abuse, calling for the perpetrators to be punished and warning that the allegations undermine the credibility of UN peacekeeping missions.

The DRC campaign photos, which have been issued on the Monusco website as well as social media, have already prompted reactions on Facebook.

"The new campaign against sexual violence is welcome, but it's a shame that it was needed, because the UN is supposed to protect, and not attack," said one comment by Facebook user Dali Mbala.

The peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo - which has been riven by conflict for about two decades mainly in the east - has about 20 000 uniformed personnel.

Read more on:    monusco  |  drc  |  central africa  |  child abuse

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.