UN and member countries must rein in peacekeepers: Editorial

Janila Jean, 18, carries her daughter in Jacmel, Haiti. Jean said she was a 16-year-old virgin when a United Nations peacekeeper from Brazil lured her to the UN. compound two years earlier then raped her at gunpoint and left her pregnant. (DIEU NALIO CHERY / AP)

The news was alarming. United Nations peacekeepers in war-ravaged Liberia were accused of exchanging food for sex from girls as young as 8. A Save the Children report on the horror found it was the result of inadequate training, zero threat of punishment, and collusion with top mission officials and NGO workers.

That was back in 2006.

Disturbingly, as numerous news stories and UN reports since then have damningly and repeatedly documented, little has changed.

It would be easy to blame UN intransigence and bureaucracy for the problem. And it is true that plays a major role. But the fault also lies with member countries that send peacekeepers to war-ravaged countries or disaster zones. All parties must be held responsible and measures put in place if peacekeepers are to do a proper job of protecting vulnerable populations, not exploiting them.

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Source: News Now/The Star.com

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About Cholo Brooks 15829 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.