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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 17:28 GMT
Sex scandal prompts UN overhaul
UN troops
The UN has been shaken by revelations from DR Congo
UN peacekeepers accused of sexual offences should face legal action in their home countries, a new UN report has recommended.

The report follows allegations of serious misconduct by members of the UN mission in DR Congo.

UN peacekeepers have been accused of using food and money to pay for sex with girls as young as 12.

The report recommends a thorough overhaul of the way UN peacekeeping operations are run.

Most of the proposals are ways to make peacekeepers more accountable.

Currently, UN troops and employees accused of wrongdoing are often sent home but then never punished.

Other allegations

The recommendations include withholding pay for peacekeepers found guilty of sexual abuse, creating a fund to assist the victims, and establishing a uniform set of rules so that all peacekeepers - troops and civilians - are held to the same standards of conduct.

The UN recently said it was investigating 140 claims against its peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and that it had taken action against 17 civilian staff.

The report, prepared by the Jordanian Ambassador to the UN, Prince Zeid Raad Zeid al-Hussein, said allegations of abuse had also surfaced in Bosnia and Kosovo, Cambodia, East Timor, and West Africa.

"You cannot understate the value of peacekeeping and what it can bring to a society, so for that reason I think we must restore it," Prince Zeid told the Associated Press.

"My feeling is that most of the principal troop-contributing countries will agree to this formula," he said.



SEE ALSO:
UN action over DR Congo abuse
18 Mar 05 |  Africa
Annan admits UN DR Congo abuses
19 Nov 04 |  Africa


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