The UN’s Good vs. Bad Narrative Clears the Way for Sexual Violence and Impunity
A Blue Helmet’s job is, quite literally, to keep the peace. The UN peacekeepers whose nickname comes from their characteristic headwear, are supposed to protect people in countries torn apart by war. However a steady drip of accusations coming out of the Central African Republic (CAR) suggests it’s Blue Helmets who are the threat to civilian safety.
Three girls in the CAR have told a harrowing tale, in which a French peacekeeper tied them up, along with their friend, stripped them and then forced them to have sex with a dog. This sickening abuse of power is not isolated. Soldiers from France, Gabon, and Burundi have allegedly committed atrocious acts of sexual abuse against women and girls in the CAR. Just last year, peacekeepers reportedly forced refugee children to perform sex acts on them, telling them it was the only way they’d receive food.
The UN mission, which goes by its French acronym MINUSCA, went into the CAR in 2014 with the aim of protecting civilians after a coup d’etat: soldiers and staff have done the opposite. The allegations against MINUSCA are piling up; in the three short months since we saw in 2016, 25 separate accounts have been lodged against peacekeepers. ...
This article by Maya Goodfellow was first published by Media Diversified on April 12. 2016. You can read the full article here.
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