UN troops accused of rape in Congo; UN staff suspended due to Iraq Oil-for-Food corruption

Sunday, February 13, 2005

United Nations (UN) troops based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo face 150 allegations of rape including gang rapes committed against children as young as twelve.

The UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services reported these crimes which occurred even while investigators were in Congo. The Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan has condemned the soldiers and has banned the peacekeeping troops (those deployed in Congo) from having sex with local residents.

The soldiers are believed to have bribed young starving children with eggs, milk or a few dollars to have sex. There are believed to be at least fifty different soldiers involved. Kofi Annan pledged personally to "root out this problem." The United Nations has 65,000 troops in 16 different locations, with 16,700 UN soldiers and other staff in Congo alone.

Annan also faces serious allegations of impropriety for the UN's $64 billion oil-for-food program which allegedly enriched Annan's relatives, senior officials within the Russian and French governments and deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. The UN's own internal inquiry headed by former United States Federal Reserve Board chair Paul Volcker confirmed misconduct allegations leading to the termination of several senior UN officials.