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In Haiti, UN Sri Lankan Peacekeeper Charged with Rape, Others Qs UNanswered

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 17 -- UN misdeeds in Haiti are not surprising, given the introduction of cholera. Nor, troublingly, are allegations of abuse by Sri Lankan soliders: a large contingent was repatriated in the past for sexual abuse.

But when a new allegation came out, not commented on by the MINUSTAH mission, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's top two spokespeople:

"What is the UN's reaction - denial? - of allegation of rape by MINUSTAH peacekeeper from Sri Lanka?"

And the UN came back with this response:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 10:56 AM
Subject: Your question on Haiti
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

In response to your email question about Haiti, we have the following information from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations:

We are aware of the allegations made against a military staff member. As you know, the UN has a zero tolerance policy sexual exploitation and abuse that we at MINUSTAH strictly enforce. A preliminary investigation has been launched to determine the facts of the case.

But what does "zero tolerance" mean if the alleged rapists are simply sent home, with any subsequent prosecution never disclosed?

Inner City Press also asked:

What is the UN's reaction - denial? - of allegation that in Somalia an AMISOM contingent, on information and belief from Burundi, provides services to UNMAS' David Bax?

Please state if the corruption allegations against Ugandan troops in AMISOM (selling materiel in the black market) trigger the UN's Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.

From Sept. 3: "As brought up in the most recent briefing based on NYT profile, please provide a list of the S-G's golfing partners in the past year who are diplomats, and, separately, a summary of issues discussed."

There are also questions pending including about the faux "UN briefing" by Syria rebel Ahmad al Jarba. Watch this site.


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