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The UN has suspended peacekeeping forces in the DR Congo due to allegations of serious misconduct.
Africa World News

The UN has suspended peacekeeping forces in the DR Congo due to allegations of serious misconduct.

MONUSCO released a statement on Wednesday denouncing the actions of individuals who do not uphold the standards expected of United Nations staff.

Nine members of the group from South Africa have been arrested and are currently restricted to their military quarters.

Assault and threats

During his daily briefing from New York on Wednesday, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric stated that the individuals involved were sent to a MONUSCO base in the eastern part of the nation.

MONUSCO had been informed that they were “socializing, beyond curfew time, at a restricted bar known for transactional sex,” he stated.

The military police and personnel in charge of maintaining conduct and discipline for The Mission conducted a visit to the premises in order to evaluate the reports.

“According to Mr. Dujarric, UN personnel were physically attacked and threatened by members of the contingent after trying to detain them for violating the UN’s standards of conduct and non-fraternization policy.”

“Additionally, there is proof of a significant breakdown in the leadership and coordination of senior military leaders within this particular group.”

Zero tolerance policy

MONUSCO stated that the information regarding the conduct of the peacekeepers came after a succession of actions were taken throughout the Mission’s region to guarantee adherence to UN principles and codes of behavior.

MONUSCO reached out to the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) and implemented “precautionary measures” in accordance with the Secretary-General’s strict stance against sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as other grave misconduct.

“The statement stated that the first actions taken will be to suspend, detain, and confine the peacekeepers implicated in the allegations. This is pending additional information and a thorough investigation.”

The appropriate officials have been notified of the accusations and a National Investigation Officer has been requested to conduct a joint investigation with OIOS.

If a victim is identified, they will be directed for help according to the UN’s plan for aiding victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Addressing misconduct

The Secretary-General, António Guterres, has consistently emphasized that the United Nations has a strict stance against any form of sexual exploitation. He has emphasized that the prevention and eradication of this issue is a key focus for the organization.

The United Nations has a three-part plan to combat all types of wrongdoing, including sexual exploitation and abuse. This plan includes measures for prevention, enforcing UN standards of behavior, and taking corrective action.

In 2016, the United Nations designated a Special Coordinator responsible for enhancing the approach to addressing sexual exploitation and abuse. This was followed by the selection of a Victims Rights Advocate one year later.