SANDF to look into UN sex offender report

2015-06-25 18:15
SANDF (File)

SANDF (File)

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Johannesburg - The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) says it has noted a report alleging South African troops were the worst sexual offenders on UN peacekeeping missions.

The defence department told the government's new agency that reports of this nature were normally presented to the affected or concerned country for processing and consideration.

While the particular report had not been formally received by the department, the SANDF would scrutinise it and make contact with those who put the report together to verify the authenticity of its contents.

“The SANDF does not condone any misconduct or acts of ill-discipline by its members, be it sexual abuse or exploitation, and to that effect the SANDF works hand-in-hand with UN officials or any relevant authorities to investigate such allegations whenever they emerge," the department said.

“In principle and in line with UN guidelines, any member of the SANDF alleged to have committed an offense, the matter is investigated and if the member is found guilty, that member is withdrawn from the mission area and necessary disciplinary measures are taken."

The UN Office of Internal Oversight Services report, released last week, focused on sexual offences committed by peacekeepers on peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan and South Sudan, Liberia and Haiti.

The Times reported that South Africa has about 2 000 troops stationed in the DRC, Sudan and South Sudan.

The UN said in the report it had received 480 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse relating to its peacekeeping and special political missions between 2008 and 2013.

The DRC peacekeeping mission accounted for 45% of these allegations, while just over a third of the 480 allegations involved minors. The report revealed that South African troops face nine allegations, followed by Uruguay with eight allegations and Nigeria with seven allegations.

The details of the allegations are not given. In terms of the UN agreement, allegations should be investigated by the army of the soldier involved in the alleged misconduct.

Read more on:    un  |  sandf  |  peacekeepers

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