UN to name member states whose troops commit sexual abuse

2015-09-17 21:01

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New York - Countries whose troops commit sexual abuse while on UN peacekeeping missions will be named and their soldiers repatriated, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told a meeting of member states on Thursday.

Ban outlined the measures to UN countries that send soldiers on peacekeeping missions after a spate of accusations of sexual abuse in recent months.

These include 17 cases in the Central African Republic, 13 of which involve soldiers.

While the United Nations is tasked with investigating civilian staff accused of such crimes, troop-contributing countries have the sole responsibility for prosecuting their troops, which they often fail to do.

Ban called sexual abuse a "cancer" of the UN system and vowed to step up the fight in light of mounting allegations.

In his speech on Thursday, he said the move was aimed at prompting more thorough investigations.

"My decision to name specific countries is not designed to create public embarrassment, but to demonstrate transparency and promote accountability," Ban said.

"There is no shame for a member state that takes decisive action against alleged perpetrators of sexual exploitation and abuse."

Previously, it was unclear whether Ban had the authority to openly name countries.

He also said he would repatriate entire contingents and end deployments if allegations are not swiftly dealt with.

Ban urged countries to establish on-site courts martial to ensure more timely investigations and to build trust with people on the ground.

Peacekeepers accused of such abuses while on UN missions are rarely convicted.

While the UN pays a monthly sum of $1 000 for each soldier to troop-contributing countries, the organisation has no leverage to compel member states to thoroughly investigate allegations of misconduct, essentially providing impunity to peacekeepers.

Read more on:    un  |  ban ki-moon

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