Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Sexual Exploitation by Troops, UN Troops

Several bloggers have referred to this story in the British paper The Independent. Young Congoese girls have become prostitutes to UN "peacekeepers" in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Teenage rape victims fleeing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being sexually exploited by the United Nations peace-keeping troops sent to the stop their suffering.

The Independent has found that mothers as young as 13 - the victims of multiple rape by militiamen - can only secure enough food to survive in the sprawling refugee camp by routinely sleeping with UN peace-keepers.

Testimony from girls and aid workers in the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp in Bunia, in the north-east corner of Congo, claims that every night teenage girls crawl through a wire fence to an adjoining UN compound to sell their bodies to Moroccan and Uruguayan soldiers.

Remember, this is the UN, the internationally recognized arbiter of legitimacy and behaviour. Will the same press who flaggelated the US military over the prison scandal castigate the UN over this? Are the lives of these Congoese girls worth less that Iraqis? Is it an atrocity to humiliate an Iraqi man while it is not newsworthy to force a young rape victim into sexual servitude? And there are several other stories like this from other parts of the world. Our troops, dispite there faults, are among the most well-behaved soldiers in the world.

If anyone sees this story in the US press, please leave a comment.


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