UN Peacekeepers Accused of Raping at Least 98 Girls, Tying Them Up to Have Sex With Dogs

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Mar 31, 2016 3:30 PM
UN Peacekeepers Accused of Raping at Least 98 Girls, Tying Them Up to Have Sex With Dogs

Over the decades we've seen countless stories out of Africa about UN peacekeepers trading food for sex, raping women and girls, covering up genocide and more truly, horrific things. But despite years of investigations and humiliation for the UN on the world stage, the immoral, criminal and abominable behavior continues. 

According to a story published in VICE, dozens of French UN Peacekeepers, including leaders, have been accused of raping young women and tying up little girls in order to force upon them sex with animals.

The United Nations is investigating more than 90 cases of peacekeeper sexual abuse in the Central African Republic, including an incident in which a French military commander allegedly had four girls tied up and forced them to have sex with a dog, according to a new report by an activist group.

AIDS Free World, the same group that last year leaked initial reports of sexual abuse carried out by French and African forces in the country, said that the most recent incident occurred this Monday, when a Congolese peacekeeper allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl in a hotel.

The evidence published by AIDS Free World comes from internal UN sources. VICE News was unable to independently confirm the information, but the UN has not contested the accounts. Shortly after the group issued a statement on late Wednesday, the UN confirmed that it had widened the scope of its investigations in the Central African Republic, and said "the exact number and nature of these extremely troubling allegations are still being determined."

According to AIDS Free World, the UN's children agency, UNICEF, this month interviewed 98 girls in just one province, who all said they had been sexually abused by international peacekeepers — a description that appears to encompass both the UN mission itself, as well as the separate French deployment.

Three girls told a MINUSCA human rights officer that in 2014 "they and a fourth girl were tied up and undressed inside a camp by a military commander from the Sangaris force." All four, they said, were "forced to have sex with a dog," then were given the equivalent of around nine dollars.

Last year Foreign Policy published a piece exposing the UN's lack of seriousness when it comes to handling the rape epidemic being perpetuated by so-called peacekeepers.

To a large degree, a denial of justice in peacekeeper sexual abuse is baked into the system. Roméo Dallaire, head of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, told Canada’s Globe and Mail in May that there is a “culture of silence” and near-impunity for peacekeepers in missions abroad. Peacekeepers who commit crimes fall under the jurisdiction of their home countries, which frequently do nothing to hold them accountable legally. The U.N., for its part, has done little to put pressure on these countries to carry out justice, advocates say. “The U.N. sees its job as trying to attract peacekeepers,” said Mariner. “They don’t want to do anything to provide a disincentive for countries to provide troops.”

Sometimes the world is such a dark place. Unfortunately, when it comes to peacekeepers and rape, the UN fails to demand accountability in order to stop it from happening again. What a disgrace.