UN Probes ‘Abuse’ in Ivory Coast

July 23, 2007 – BBC

The United Nations is investigating allegations of widespread sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers serving in Ivory Coast.

The UN said a unit of its contingent in Bouake, a northern rebel stronghold, had been confined to base.

It has confirmed that some Moroccan troops are under investigation.

Claims of sexual abuse have been made against UN troops on various missions, prompting ex-UN chief Kofi Annan to declare a “zero tolerance” policy.

‘Utterly immoral’

“There have been crimes such as rape, paedophilia and human trafficking,” he said in December 2006, shortly before leaving office.

He said sexual exploitation and abuse were “utterly immoral” and at odds with the UN mission, and would be punished.

Sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeeping personnel hit the headlines in 2004 after a UN report detailed widespread abuse in the DR Congo involving UN troops.

More than 300 members of UN peacekeeping missions around the world have been investigated for sexual exploitation and abuse since 2004, including some stationed in Congo, Cambodia and Haiti.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6909664.stm