Burundi UN Sex Scandal: More Questions
BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) -- A police investigation has concluded that two United Nations peacekeepers from Ethiopia sexually abused underage girls in Burundi.
The findings were sent to local U.N. officials and a copy was filed at a court, said Anatole Ntukamazina, commander of the public security police. No charges were immediately filed.
The two Ethiopian peacekeepers were arrested Dec. 11 in the northeastern Muyinga province on suspicion of having sex with underage girls who were found in their hotel rooms, Ntukamazina said.
Ethiopian soldiers account for the largest contingent of troops in the 5,476-member U.N. force helping to monitor a peace deal between the government and Hutu rebels that ended Burundi's 11-year civil war.
The two peacekeepers have been suspended and transferred to the central province of Gitega to await the results of a separate U.N. investigation, said Adama Diop, a spokesman for the U.N. mission.
"There will be severe and exemplary military sanctions if investigations reveal that they are guilty," Diop said. "We received clear instruction from the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan that we should never tolerate abuses."
Diop is just blowing smoke. There is no way he can make such a claim, because there aren't UN military tribunals and there are just too many gaps in the existing investigation and prosecution system, as shown by another AP dispatch:
The [Burundian police's] findings were sent to local U.N. officials and a copy was filed at a local court, [Burundi police commander Anatole] Ntukamazina said. No charges were immediately laid.
The United Nations implores nations to discipline their peacekeepers for sexual abuse and other misdeeds, but it has little power to enforce the rules.
There are too many things that can wrong with that approach, and too much time to sweep it all under the carpet for Diop to claim that the pedophile rapists will ever receive justice -- or, for that matter, for Annan and the UN to effectively deal with this problem.
And again, there's no mention of anything being done to help the underage victims of this crime.