[Svrilist] UN JOINS INQUIRY INTO REPORTED SEX ABUSE BY AFRICAN UNION TROOPS IN DARFUR
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Thu May 18 07:36:48 SAST 2006
From: <UNNews at un.org>
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Sent: Friday, May 05, 2006 12:00 PM
Subject: UN JOINS INQUIRY INTO REPORTED SEX ABUSE BY AFRICAN UNION TROOPS IN
UN JOINS INQUIRY INTO REPORTED SEX ABUSE BY AFRICAN UNION TROOPS IN DARFUR
New York, May 5 2006 12:00PM
Following recent media reports of alleged sexual violence, including rape
and child abuse, by African Union (AU) forces monitoring the conflict in
Sudan's Darfur region, the United Nations Development Fund for Women
will participate in the AU's newly established Committee of Inquiry.
UNIFEM Regional Programme Director in East and Horn of Africa, Nyaradzai
Gumbonzvanda, welcomed the urgency with which the Committee was set up
after the reports, saying it gives a ray of hope to African women,
children and survivors of violence that impunity and inaction by
authorities is being seriously dealt with.
"It sends immediate warning bells to perpetrators of sexual and gender
based violence that impunity will no longer be the order of the day in
Africa," she declared.
The Committee will examine the contents of a BBC Channel 4 television
documentary to establish its veracity or otherwise, identify those
responsible for the violations and make recommendations on appropriate
The UN has a policy of zero tolerance of sexual exploitation and abuse by
its own staff, particularly peacekeepers in the field, imposed following
allegations in 2004 against peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo (DRC). At the time the UN Office for Internal Oversight Services
(OIOS) cited payments ranging from two eggs to $5 per encounter. Some
victims were abandoned orphans who were often illiterate.
In February, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guéhenno
told the Security Council that significant progress had been made in
dealing with the problem but much more needed to be done. He said that
last year investigations had been completed into allegations of sexual
abuse involving 296 peacekeeping personnel.
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