Tag Archives: UN

UN peacekeepers in Liberia bartering goods for sex


UN peacekeepers ‘barter goods for sex’UN peacekeepers. File photoThe UN currently has about 125,000 peacekeepers deployed around the world

UN peacekeepers regularly barter goods for sex with people in the countries the world body is meant to be helping, a draft UN report says.

The document by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) says it has found that hundreds of women in Haiti and Liberia have been motivated by hunger and poverty to sell sex.

They are paid with cash, jewellery, mobile phones and other items.

The report says 480 sexual exploitation and abuse claims were made in 2008-13.

One-third of the allegations involved children.

‘Transactional sex’

The UN draft report says hundreds of women surveyed in Haiti and Liberia told they had been motivated by hunger, poverty and lifestyle improvement to sell sex to UN peacekeepers, according to Reuters news agency.

“Evidence from two peacekeeping mission countries demonstrates that transactional sex is quite common but underreported in peacekeeping missions,” the news agency is quoting the draft report.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press – which has also obtained the document – says that 231 people in Haiti interviewed last year told they had had “transactional sex” with peacekeepers.

“In cases of non-payment, some women withheld the badges of peacekeepers and threatened to reveal their infidelity via social media,” AP reports the document as saying.

It adds that 51 such allegations were made against UN peacekeepers in 2014, down from 66 a year before.

The news agencies are also quoting what they say is a response to the draft by the UN Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support.

The departments do not dispute that underreporting remains a concern.

But they also stress that there has been a significant increase in deployment of peacekeepers over the past 10 years and a large decrease in sexual exploitation and abuse allegations.

The UN currently has about 125,000 peacekeepers deployed in a number of countries around the world.

Dr Congo: North Kivu’s False Peace – By Michael Deibert

African Arguments

North Kivu’s False Peace – By Michael Deibert

February 29, 2012

Bosco Ntaganda – still ruling the roost in North Kivu.


At first glance today, things in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern North Kivu province seem far calmer than in years past.

As recently as 2008, a rebel group, the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) under the command of renegade general Laurent Nkunda, controlled sizable swaths of the territory, especially around the area of Masisi in North Kivu’s south-eastern corner.

Nkunda, a Congolese Tutsi from North Kivu’s Rutshuru territory and a former commander in the Rwanda-backed Goma faction of the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD) rebel group, seemed poised to attack the provincial capital of Goma at any time.

Travelling much beyond the town of Sake, 25 km to Goma’s northwest, was a complicated endeavour, as the CNDP had battled the forces of Congo’s president Joseph Kabila fiercely for Sake in November 2006 before withdrawing in defeat. At the time, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that some 800,000 people had been displaced by fighting in the province.

Since those dark days, much has changed in eastern North Kivu.

In January 2009, Rwanda’s government, long believed to be the CNDP’s key backer in its vying for regional advantage, announced that they had arrested Nkunda on Rwandan territory. This event took place shortly after the CNDP had begun to splinter, with one high-ranking member, Bosco Ntaganda, advocating dialogue and détente with the Kabila government.

Since then, a bitter pill scenario has seen Kabila, in power in Congo since the 2001 assassination of his father, Laurent Kabila, cede influence and control of much of the eastern part of the vast, mineral-rich country to Rwanda and its proxies, with the Rwandan army now allowed to enter Congolese territory in hot pursuit of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), the main Hutu-led military opposition to Rwanda’s Tutsi-led government. The FDLR has its roots in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide when nearly 1 million Tutsis and Hutu moderates were slaughtered by extremist Hutu supremacist elements.  Read more…

Somalia: will the London conference work for Somalis or conentrate on Western concerns?

Reuters Africa

By William Maclean


LONDON (Reuters) – African, Arab and Western nations worried by Somalia’s turmoil meet on Thursday to coordinate efforts against militants and pirates seen as growing threats to global security and ramp up measures to end famine and clan violence.

Sceptics say the London conference of 40 countries including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon risks producing fine words but no action: They point to ineffective similar gatherings in the past 20 years involving a corrupt Somali elite skilled in extracting support from Western aid bureaucrats and foreign peacekeepers.

But the British organisers have sought to temper expectations, explaining that the aim of the event is to galvanise policymakers’ attention on Somalia to better coordinate a sometimes disjointed international response.

It will not delve far into the details of Somalia’s clan-based politics, which play a complex role in everything from business and piracy to the distribution of humanitarian aid.

Nevertheless, Somalis who have known nothing but war, famine and blunder-prone international intervention for decades cannot help but hope for something that will improve their lives.  Read more…

Dozens killed in “cattle vendetta” in South Sudan


Gunmen have killed at least 51 people – mostly women and children – in the latest clashes in South Sudan’s troubled Jonglei state, regional governor Kuol Manyang has said.




At least 22 others were injured after attackers raided and burned the village of Duk Padiet, he added.

The wounded have been evacuated to Juba, the capital, he said.

A series of retaliatory attacks between ethnic groups in the region has displaced tens of thousands of people.

“We are expecting more to be injured because they ran to the villages last night,” Mr Manyang said.

Officials told AFP news agency the killings were carried out by the Murle group on ethnic Dinkas, as revenge for a deadly raid last month on the town of Pibor.

It is understood that some Dinkas accompanied some 6,000 Lou Nuer warriors who attacked Pibor.  Read more…

UN says South Sudan attack by Lou Nuer repelled


Thousands of youths from a South Sudanese ethnic group which attacked a rival community, reportedly killing at least 150 people, have been repelled by government troops, the UN says.



The UN’s humanitarian co-ordinator in the region, Lise Grande, says 6,000 members of the Lou Nuer ethnic group have left the besieged town of Pibor.

The clashes took place between the Lou Nuer and their rivals, the Murle.

The fighting follows long-running disputes over cattle raids.  Read more…

Thousands flee fighting in South Sudan


Tens of thousands of villagers in South Sudan are hiding in the bush, waiting for UN and government troops to stop a tribal conflict, which officials fear may have left scores of people dead over the weekend.
Armed youths from the Lou Nuer tribe marched on the remote town of Pibor in Jonglei state, home to the rival Murle people, who they blame for cattle raiding.

“The situation is tense as the Lou Nuer are still around Pibor,” Isaac Ajiba, Jonglei’s information minister, said on Monday.

Thatched huts have been burned and, according to Parthesarathy Rajendran, the head of Doctors without Borders (known by its French name Medicines sans Frontieres, or MSF) in South Sudan, thousands have been displaced, including his own staff.

“Many of our staff are in the bush and we also heard an MSF clinic has been damaged and looted,” he told Al Jazeera.

“MSF is the only medical health care in the whole region, and the population is very vulnerable for all kinds of medical issues. So we are very concerned about those fleeing into the bush. They don’t have access to water, medical care or food.”

The government and the UN, which has warned the violence could lead to a “major tragedy”, were strengthening their forces in the area.
“We are worried about their conditions. They are without water, shelter and food. They are hiding in the bush. I think it is between 20,000 and 50,000. This is an estimate only,” Lise Gande, UN humanitarian co-ordinator for South Sudan, told the Reuters news agency.

Grande said on Sunday that the number of government forces heading to Pibor was estimated at 3,000 troops and 800 police.  Read more…

Kenyans named by UN in DR Congo gold smuggling reporgt


Daily Nation/allAfrica

New York — The United Nations has named three Kenyans it says are involved in smuggling gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to the UN report, the network based in Nairobi carries out deals involving large quantities of gold.

Counterfeit gold is also brokered in Nairobi, the UN added in the report by a team of experts that monitors arms and mineral-trade sanctions against rebel groups in the DRC.

Transactions of both real and fake gold serve as a key source of financing for groups in the DRC, including criminal elements in the Congolese army, that are responsible for millions of civilian deaths in recent years.

Kenya recorded no official imports of gold from the DRC in 2010 and 2011, notes the six-member UN panel, which includes a Kenyan arms expert, Mr Nelson Alusala.

The report also thanks the Kenyan government for cooperating in the panel’s wide-ranging investigations.

A Kenyan national, whom the report names, is said to have played an integral role in illegal gold deals.  Read more…