DR Congo: UN peacekeepers suspended over serious misconduct charges

DR Congo: UN peacekeepers suspended over serious misconduct charges

“The Mission strongly condemns such behaviour which is not worthy of United Nations personnel,” MONUSCO said in a statement on Wednesday.

Although the UN Mission did not give details, international media reported that eight South African “blue helmets” had been detained over allegations of sexual abuse. 

Zero tolerance policy

MONUSCO said the reports about the peacekeepers’ behaviour followed a series of measures that had been proactively implemented across the Mission area to ensure compliance with UN values and standards of conduct.

MONUSCO contacted the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services and took “precautionary measures” in line with the Secretary-General’s zero tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and abuse, and other serious misconduct.

“These initial measures include the suspension, detention and confinement of the peacekeepers involved, pending further details of these allegations, including a full investigation,” the statement said.

Addressing misconduct

Secretary-General António Guterres has repeatedly underlined that the UN has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation, stressing that preventing and eliminating it is a top priority.

The UN has a three-pronged strategy to address all forms of misconduct including sexual exploitation and abuse, covering prevention, enforcement of UN standards of conduct and remedial action.

In 2016, the UN appointed a Special Coordinator tasked with improving the response to sexual exploitation and abuse, followed by the appointment of a Victims Rights Advocate one year later. 

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