The wonderful U.N.‘s selective urgency

I first blogged about the fact that U.N. troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo were raping innocent little girls and committing violent sex acts, back in January 2005—a year and a half ago.  (“United Nations troops buy sex from abused girls with scraps of food” – Jan. 11 2005).  About a month later, columnist Michelle Malkin wrote an excellent piece about it and I pointed it out. (“Michelle Malkin: The Rape of Innocents” – Feb. 2005 ).

Today, I read a story at discussing the typical U.N.-style rapid-action progress:  “UN investigating claims peacekeepers paying for sex” (see below).

Meanwhile, for days we’ve seen evidence presented in various news media about Iran and Syria already making strides in re-arming Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon by smuggling arms in and financing them, and we’ve watched and listened as Hezbollah and Lebanon leadership boldly claim that they won’t be bothering to disarm at all, in contravention of two U.N. resolutions—one dating back to 2004—which likely would have prevented this entire conflict had it been enforced and abided by.  Soon after the Ceasefire was signed, it was widely reported that ten or more Hezbollah missiles or bombs of some sort were aimed and fired at Israeli troops in southern Lebanon, for no apprent reason.

But U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wasted no time in getting up off his Lazy Boy recliner and denouncing Israel today for supposedly breaking the latest ceasefire agreement (which many of us knew was but a Hezbollah re-armament sham in any case, and is increasingly proving itself to be).

Israeli raid in Lebanon violates truce, Annan says

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said an Israeli raid in Lebanon on Saturday violated the U.N.-backed truce and made him “deeply concerned.”

A statement from the United Nations said Annan had spoken with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Olmert, on Saturday about the raid.

“The secretary-general is deeply concerned about a violation by the Israeli side of the cessation of hostilities as laid out in Security Council resolution 1701,” a spokesman for Annan said in the statement, which was posted on the U.N. Web site.

Israel said the commando attack on a Hizbollah stronghold in eastern Lebanon was defensive and was designed to disrupt weapons supplies to Hizbollah from Syria and Iran.

[…] the resolution [U.N. Resolution 1701] … allows [Israel] to act in self-defense, and in turn accused Hizbollah of violating the 6-day-old truce by smuggling weapons.

Here’s parts of a June 2004 BBC report:

DR Congo’s shameful sex secret

Thursday, 3 June, 2004

[…] Dominique McAdams, the head of the UN in Bunia, admitted that there was a problem.

“I have heard rumours on this issue,” she said. “It is pretty clear to me that sexual violence is taking place in the camp.”

[…] Last month the UN announced that it would launch a full investigation into abuse within the camp.

There are about 4,000 peacekeepers are in the Bunia area

Yet the gap between the intention to investigate and the reality of that investigation in Bunia remains large.

[…] UN spokesman in New York, Fred Eckhard said:

“Monuc [the U.N. peacekeeping operation there] is committed to completing a full and thorough investigation into [events at the camp] as a matter of urgency. We will apply all available sanctions against any personnel found responsible.”

Part of the difficulty faced by the UN is that the girls involved refuse to give evidence against the soldiers.

Extreme sexual violence has been an integral part of the war throughout eastern DR [Democratic Republic of] Congo and the girls are terrified of all military, foreign and local officials, making any formal investigation extremely difficult.

Here’s today’s report in the Scottsman:

UN investigating claims peacekeepers paying for sex
Sunday, 20th August 2006

THE United Nations said yesterday it was looking into allegations that UN peacekeepers in Congo are exploiting women by paying them for sex.

The world body said it had received reports of a prostitution ring involving minors operating outside military bases in South Kivu province and said that some of the women had reported UN staff among their clients.

The 17,000-member peace force “takes these allegations very seriously and has expressed extreme shock at the testimonies of the victims of this illegal activity”, the UN said in a statement.

The UN said it “immediately launched a special investigation to verify the allegations implicating some of its staff in these criminal activities of sexual exploitation and forcefully reaffirms, without any possible ambiguity, its zero tolerance policy in this matter”.

The statement made no mention of the nationalities of the UN staff involved.

The UN peacekeeping department instituted a new code of conduct last year following an investigation that found that peacekeepers in Congo had sex with Congolese women and girls, usually in exchange for food or small sums of money.

Everything’s going according to U.N. plan.

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