UNITED NATIONS, August 17 — In Haiti, UN peacekeepers from Uruguay are accused of having sex with children in their base, and taking nude photos of the children to show other soldiers, according to the Comité de recherches pour le développement et l’organisation de Port-salut.
These allegations, revealed by www.haitian-truth.org, were published in the Haitian press six days ago — ironically the day that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sent a letter to the director of The Whistleblower, about sex trafficking by UN peacekeepers in Bosnia.
This was described as Ban confronting a sordid chapter of the UN’s history, but Ban has apparently not confronted alleged misdeed under his watch and responsibility. The UN in New York, in the six days after the allegations were made in Haiti, said nothing about them.
Inner City Press on August 17, the day after the UN had canceled its normal noon briefing, asked Ban’s acting deputy spokesman about the allegations against the Uruguayan UN peacekeepers in Port-Salut.
Haq said, “MINUSTAH is in fact looking into this allegation, to see if there is any credibility to it. If there are any facts… we will share them.”
While some doubt that the UN would “share facts” about wrongdoing by its peacekeepers, given for example that the UN just airbrushed out from its final report allegations of inaction by Egyptian peacekeepers in Southern Kordofan. But even if the UN did report back on the allegations in Haiti, the UN does not state what happens to individual peacekeepers, by name or even nationality. The statement “any facts… we will share them” must be seen in that light.
Footnote: Speaking of seeing, Ban’s August 11 letter says he watched The Whistleblower with his senior advisers. Meanwhile, he has received but not watched the film Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, which along with addressing rape as a tool of war critiques Ban’s UN’s performance.
It’s worth nothing that dozens of Sri Lankan soldiers were repatriated from the UN mission in Haiti charged with sexual abuse, but the UN has never reported any accountability in Sri Lanka. Ban, Haq said, is “working from his home” this week; this was offered as a reason to cancel regular noon briefings, on August 16 and prospectively August 18 and beyond. And so it goes at (Ban’s) UN