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On CAR Rapes, Four Nations Met Ban Ki-moon, UN Read-Out

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 5 -- French soldiers in the Central African Republic allegedly sexually abused children, as exposed in a UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights report leaked to the French government by longtime OHCHR staffer Anders Kompass.

On June 3, at least 14 UN member states met about it, as Inner City Press exclusively reports, and four met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on June 5.

 Afterward, Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric sent Inner City Press and at least one other media (which also staked out the meeting in the UN lobby, see Periscope links below) this read-out:

"Since you've asked about the meeting with the PRs, I can tell you that in his meeting with representatives of Guatemala, Japan, Finland and Australia, the Secretary-General restated his condemnation of the appalling allegations committed against children in the CAR by international forces. He also restated the UN's zero tolerance policy against sexual abuse and his commitment to prevent any human rights abuses by UN or non-UN troops.

The SG told the diplomats that our central concern must be to protect the rights and well-being of victims of these abuses and to ensure that the perpetrators are held to account.

The SG also briefed the diplomats on his intention to set up an External Independent Review to examine the UN system's response to the allegations of SEA in the Central African Republic."

  Inner City Press anticipates getting further read-out(s) as well as confirmation of more retaliation by the UN. Watch this site. And, for now, these Periscope stakeout videos:

CAR Abuse Meeting stakeout I, II, for now the last, III

  Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric why this meeting was not listed on Ban's public schedule, while a similar meeting the day previous about a topic less problematic for the UN WAS listed. Dujarric said he'd look into it and into providing the Press requested read-out, and would try to provide answers to these questions, posed by Inner City Press, h/t GAP:

Under the protocols in place for documenting and reporting sex abuse among soldiers deployed under a resolution of the UN Security Council, when reports involve the armed forces of a member state and information has been provided to two different UN entities:

What would the proper reporting channels be?

What information could be transmitted?

What approvals would have to be secured?

How much time would elapse before permission was secured to transmit all available evidence to a law enforcement arm with jurisdiction to address the allegations?

  Inner City Press asked what UN staff should do, while the still UNnamed Panel does its work. Report through proper channels, he said. But look at what Zeid and Ladsous, it seems, did.

  The UN did not give the report to the host country authorities in CAR. And according to UN documents -- on May 29 released in more detail by Code Blue naming Ladsous directly, here -- UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous then urged that the whistleblower Kompass be forced to resign.

  The documents also implicate a number of other UN officials, and French government inaction, see below. After Press questioning turned to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, what he knew and when he knew it, Ban on June 3 announced an intention to set up an "independent" Panel. Inner City Press asked if it will report only to Ban -- yes. This is a problem.  Video here.

 Also on June 5, Inner City Press asked the UK Mission for

"for a UK Mission comment on Ban Ki-moon's June 3 announcement he will name an panel to looking into the UN's inaction on evidence of child sexual abuse in the Central African Republic by French peacekeepers in the Sangaris force, particularly that a group of more than a dozen UN member states working on this, set to meet Ban on today, does not seem to include the UK.

Given the UK's / Hague's statements about sexual violence in conflict, why is the UK not involved in this reform attempt? What is the UK itself doing on this issue?

What does the UK think the terms of reference of this Panel should be? To whom should it report?

Also, what is the UK's comment on the USG of DPKO being listed in the UNDT ruling as having asked for the resignation of “whistleblower” Kompass, see Para 9 of this.

Want to include a UK mission comment / response, thanks."

  In response - for which we're grateful - this is what arrived, from a UK Mission spokesperson:

"We welcome the Secretary-General’s announcement of an External Independent Review to look into the handling of these allegations. These are serious allegations and it is important that there is a clear account of how the UN responded to information of this kind. We look forward to further details of the review in due course."

Inner City Press questions remain pending at another UN Mission. And past 6 pm on Friday June 5, this statement:

"Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Secretary General’s Announcement of an External Independent Review of Allegations of Sexual Abuse in the Central African Republic, June 5, 2015
Since horrific allegations came to light that international soldiers may have abused children in the Central African Republic, the United States has been calling for a full and impartial investigation into these disturbing reports as well as into the manner in which they were handled. We thus welcome the Secretary General’s recent announcement of the establishment of an External Independent Review to examine the UN system’s response to the allegations.

The Secretary General’s establishment of this review is an opportunity for the UN to learn how it and member states can best safeguard the dignity and welfare of vulnerable people; ensure swift action to make certain potential abuses are investigated and halted; protect those who expose abuses; and provide appropriate privacy and other protection for witnesses who come forward with allegations of abuse. There are many questions that need to be answered, and we view this as an important opportunity for member states – and the people of the Central African Republic – to learn what went wrong at every point in this process.

Alongside this independent review, it is essential that all countries whose soldiers are alleged to have been involved in such abuses fully, urgently, and transparently investigate all claims to ensure that justice is served. Any individual found to have committed such heinous abuses must be held accountable.

The United States looks forward to reviewing the outcome of the Panel’s findings in a timely manner and working with all parties to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse. "

  Good. But doesn't the retaliation and lack of whistleblower protections trigger US funding cuts? We'll have more on this.


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