An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings

May 24, 2007

Keeping the Peace, for Gold

Filed under: UN — olbroad @ 10:15

Rights groups: U.N. troops traded arms for gold

U.N. peacekeepers from Pakistan trafficked arms for gold with a militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo, human rights groups said Wednesday, adding a U.N. inquiry into the affair was deliberately slowed.

I’m off the mind that anytime human life is involved, the Useless Numnuts are always “deliberately slowed”.

The United Nations denied any arms were handed over and said an inquiry under way for more than a year would be completed in three weeks. Pakistan rejected the accusations as malicious and distorted but said it was investigating.

I can’t imagine the UN ever admitting any wrong doing, even though it seems to be common practice.

The allegations threaten to strike another blow to the image of the 17,000-member peacekeeping mission in Congo, credited with guiding the vast central African country to historic polls last year but repeatedly plagued by scandal.

Image? What image? You mean the one of so called ‘Peacekeepers’ raping young girls? Or the image of the ‘Oil for Food’ scandal? Or how ’bout the image of the former Secretary General’s son getting rich off the slaughter of innocent people in Iraq? Just which image do they want to protect?

“Pakistani officers were involved in illegal smuggling of between $2-$5 million in gold out of Ituri. We have very solid information on this,” said Anneke Van Woudenberg, a senior researcher with U.S.-based Human Rights Watch.

She said the peacekeepers colluded with Congolese military, local armed groups and Indian businessmen.

“They all became part of one group,” she said.

Joel Bisubu, a researcher with Congolese human rights group Justice Plus, said the peacekeepers — meant to help disarm thousands of militia members — returned weapons to the Front of Nationalists and Integrationalists, an armed group accused by the Congolese government of war crimes.

So hey, as long as officials are lining their pockets with the big bucks, no one cares, right?

Kemal Saiki, spokesman for Congo’s U.N. peacekeeping mission, known by its French acronym MONUC, denied peacekeepers rearmed the fighters but said the matter was handed over to U.N. internal investigators in late 2005.

“The moment we heard about these allegations, we ordered an investigation. It is being conducted independently of MONUC,” he said. “Any matters that have a legal impact, they must go about them very deliberately with attention to due process.”

I have the mental image of so level bureaucrat shuffling papers around, jumping right on it!

Montas admitted the investigation had taken a long time but blamed it on “the difficulty of working in that part of the world, where a large number of witnesses have to be interviewed and in difficult security circumstances.”

Yes, blame the victims of the violence, who fear for their lives because the UN sucks.

Most charges relate to sexual abuse, including rape, prostitution and pedophilia. U.N. officials said they have investigated and taken disciplinary action where necessary.

Any punishment of the peacekeepers themselves is left to the troop contributing nations.

Even the members of the UN know they are a joke, so odds are, nothing would happen to the perpetrators.

H/T: Boots & Sabers 


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